Dover, Del. (Mar. 4, 2019) --- Norfolk State held a big rebound advantage to key its 74-66 MEAC men’s basketball win over Delaware State in the Hornets’ 2018-19 home finale in Memorial Hall this evening. The Spartans won their sixth straight game and clinched the MEAC regular season title to improve to 19-11 overall and 14-1 in conference play. NSU also secured the No. 1 seed in the 2019 MEAC tournament in Norfolk, Va., next week. The Hornets dropped their second in a row to fall to 5-23 and 2-13. DSU closes out the regular season on Thursday (Mar. 7) at Maryland-Eastern Shore. The Hornets’ loss, coupled with Monday’s victory by MDES guarantees that Delaware State will own the lowest seed (11th) in the conference tournament.
Delaware State was outrebounded 52-31. The Spartans’ total included 16 offensive boards.
Mastado Pitt led three double-figure scorers with 17 points for Norfolk State. Nic Thomas added 14 points and tied for team-high honors with seven rebounds for the Spartans.
Four Delaware State players reached double-figures in scoring. Senior Jonathan Mitchell, playing in his final home game, led the Hornets with 14 points. Senior Kevin Larkin and Ameer Bennett tallied 12 points each, while Pinky Wiley added 10 points and a game-high eight assists.
The Hornets hits just six of their 24 shots from the field in the first half, including one-of-10 on three-point attempts, but only trailed 27-21 at the break.
Larkin nailed a three-pointer and Wiley hit a lay-up off a steal to start the second half, cutting the Spartans’ lead to 27-26.
Norfolk State answered with a 13-2 run, and opened up a 40-28 lead on a jumper by Pitt with 15:26 left in the game.
The Hornets used a 7-2 run later in the half to get back into the game. Mitchell hot two of three free throws to pull DSU t within 50-44 at the 8:50 mark of the second half.
Delaware State pulled to within 52-49 on a three-ball by Wiley at the 6:45 mark of the second half and trailed 54-51 after Larkin hit two free throws with 5:44 remaining.
Norfolk State responded with a 7-0 run, and opened up a 61-51 lead with 3:35 left to play.
The Hornets could get no closer than nine points the rest of the way.
Norfolk State shot 37.7% for the game, hitting on 20 of its 53 shots from the field, including just six-of-22 on three-point attempts.
Delaware State was 20-for-60 from the floor (33.3%), but just six-of-27 from beyond the arc (22.2%).