Title Image via Matt Patterson
Courtesy of Alex Lehmbeck, Asst. SID, Norfolk State Athletics
Hampton 1-2,0-0 CAA
Winner Norfolk St. 3-0,0-0 MEAC
The Norfolk State men’s basketball team held off a late Hampton comeback effort on Monday night, defeating the Pirates 75-68 at Joseph G. Echols Hall.
The Spartans (3-0) and Pirates (1-2) put up quite the show for the sold-out crowd, both teams fighting for every loose ball and rebound. The victory marked the Norfolk State’s third consecutive in the Battle of the Bay rivalry, and fifth in the last six matchups between the schools.
Jamarii Thomas led the Spartans with 20 points, knocking down 12-of-16 free throw attempts. Jaylani Darden put up another strong outing on both sides of the floor, racking up 16 points and eight rebounds.
Norfolk State got going quickly, with forward Nyzaiah Chambers converting a 3-pointer on the Spartans’ first possession and making a layup a few plays later. Darden drained another shot from behind the arc to put NSU ahead by three early.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Thomas made the Spartan crowd roar, before Betrand knocked down consecutive jumpers – one from behind the arc and one from mid-range – to push NSU ahead by five.
With the Spartans gaining separation, Betrand hit another deep shot to extend NSU’s advantage to 37-27 late in the first half. Daniel Banister cut the lead to nine at halftime with a late 3-pointer.
Kuluel Mading got the second half moving quickly with an and-one layup off of a steal from Chambers. Hampton pulled closer with a score in transition, but successful trips to the free throw line by Thomas and Christian Ings helped the Spartans stay well in front.
Tyrel Bladen scored in the paint with 13 minutes remaining to push Norfolk State ahead by 15, the Spartans’ largest lead of the night. Hampton began to claw its way back into the ballgame shortly after, starting with a 3-pointer from Ford Cooper Jr.
After several fastbreak scores, Cooper knocked down another jumper in the paint, forcing a Norfolk State timeout. In less than four minutes, the NSU lead had dwindled from 15 to 4.
A second-chance jumper by Daryl Anderson kept the Spartans calm, but Hampton’s Kyrese Mullen got into the paint for a layup a few possessions later.
nother 3-pointer from Cooper pulled the Pirates within three in the final minutes, but it was the closest Hampton would get. The Spartans got stops and made stops down the final stretch, securing their third victory of the season.
Checking The Box Score
- Jamarii Thomas led NSU with 20 points, his second 20-point game this season
- Thomas shot 12-of-16 from the free throw line
- As a team, Norfolk State shot 29-of-34 from the free throw line (85.3 percent)
- Jaylani Darden tallied 16 points and nine rebounds, while Allen Betrand posted 10 points and eight rebounds
- Norfolk State made six 3-pointers, while Hampton made the same amount
News & Notes
- Norfolk State improved to 3-0 with the win
- The Spartans have now won three in a row against Hampton, and five of the last six matchups between the schools
- Monday’s game was sold out to capacity
- NSU made 20-of-58 field (34.5 percent) goal attempts against the Pirates. Prior to Monday, Norfolk State was 4-35 under head coach Robert Jones when shooting below 35.0 percent from the floor
- Kuluel Mading tied his career-high with three steals
- Norfolk State has now won its last six matchups against Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) opponents, starting with a 64-59 victory at Monmouth on Nov. 17, 2022
After winning the Battle of the Bay, Norfolk State will leave the contiguous United States for a tropical set of matchups. The Spartans open the 2023 U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam against Fordham at 2 p.m. EST.
Next Game: vs. Fordham 11/17/2023 | 2 p.m.