Titiel image via Markus Taft
Courtesy of Alex Lehmbeck, Asst. SID, Norfolk State Athletics
Norfolk St. 5-1,0-0 MEAC
Winner ETSU 4-1,0-0 SoCon
Norfolk State took its first loss of the 2023-24 campaign on Friday afternoon, falling 55-35 to East Tennessee State in the opening game of the Miami Thanksgiving Tournament.
A hot day from behind the arc powered the Buccaneers (4-1) at the Watsco Center, knocking down seven 3-pointers, including six in the first half. Norfolk State (5-1) was held to one 3-pointer on Friday.
Junior Da’Naijah Williams and freshman Da’Brya Clark led the Spartans with nine points each, tallying seven and five rebounds, respectively, as well. Clark accounted for three of Norfolk State’s nine steals as the Spartans forced 20 Buccaneer turnovers.
NSU struggled offensively in the opening quarter, while the Buccaneers caught fire from deep. East Tennessee State knocked down three 3-pointers in the first period, taking a 18-7 lead into the second quarter.
Clark kept the Spartans in the mix early, accounting for all seven of the team’s first quarter points. She got NSU on the board with a floater, before earning two trips to the free throw line in the next few minutes.
The Spartans couldn’t find a rhythm on the offensive end of the floor in the second quarter either but began to tighten up defensively. After giving up a trio of 3-pointers early in the period, Norfolk State held ETSU scoreless for the final five minutes of the first half.
Williams and Skye Robinson got to the rim for inside scores, and Anjanae Richardson earned a trip to the free throw line, but the Spartans went to halftime trailing 29-12.
Norfolk State brought a surge of energy into the second half, starting with a 3-pointer from Da’naijah Williams. Richardson sliced through the lane for a pair of crafty layups in quick succession, before Clark came up with a steal-and-score.
The Spartans forced a 10-second backcourt violation on the ensuing Buccaneer possession, making ETSU take its first timeout with NSU on a 9-4 run.
East Tennessee State regrouped after the stoppage of play, however, ending the quarter on a 6-2 swing to take back control of the game.
Paris Mullins heated up for the Spartans in the fourth quarter, scoring six points on a variety of post moves. Norfolk State continued to battle, tallying six consecutive points on baskets from Mullins, Robinson, and Richardson, but ETSU knocked down a turnaround jump shot in the final minute to close out the victory.
Checking The Box Score
- Norfolk State junior Da’naijah Williams and freshman Da’Brya Clark led the Spartans with nine points each
- Williams tallied a team-high seven rebounds, while Clark pulled down five
- Norfolk State forced 20 Buccaneer turnovers, with Clark accounting for three of the Spartans’ nine steals
- Breanne Beatty led ETSU with 14 points and nine rebounds
- The Bucaneers knocked down six 3-pointers in the first half, making three in the first quarter and three in the second
- The Spartans shot 1-of-16 (6.3 percent) from behind the arc
- Paris Mullins scored six points in the fourth quarter for NSU
News & Notes
- The loss marked Norfolk State’s first of the 2023-24 season, dropping to 5-1 overall
- ETSU improved to 4-1 on the season
- Friday marked the first-ever meeting between the Norfolk State and East Tennessee State women’s basketball programs
Norfolk State will return to the Watsco Center on Sunday afternoon for the team’s final game of the Miami Thanksgiving Tournament. The Spartans will face the losing team of Friday’s Miami/Colgate matchup.
Next Game: vs. Miami/Colgate 11/26/2023 | TBA