NORFOLK- Up by just two at the break, the Norfolk State men's basketball team pulled away from Bethune-Cookman in the second half in a 59-45 victory on Saturday evening at Joseph Echols Hall.
The Spartans were held to more than 25 points below their season average, but a strong defensive effort allowed NSU to win its 21st straight conference regular season game, the longest active streak in Division I basketball.
Norfolk State improved to 7-3 overall, the best 10-game start in the D-I era, and 2-0 in the MEAC. Bethune-Cookman dropped to 2-9, 0-1 after shooting just 16-of-53 (30.2 percent) for the game.
Senior Riley Maye tied his career high and led NSU with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting coming off the bench.
He had 11 in the second half as the Spartans turned a 30-30 tie into a double-digit lead over a six-and-a-half minute span. Senior Pendarvis Williams made it 44-33 at the end of the run after hitting a pair of free throws.
A short time later, Williams hit a driving layup with an outstretched left hand for a 52-40 advantage. Senior Marese Phelps got the kind bounce on his 3-point shot, and Williams hit a baseline jumper to cap an extended 15-5 run that lasted another eight minutes and put the Spartans up by 17.
After a slow start, Williams finished with 11 points, while seniors Brandon Goode and Malcolm Hawkins each added 10. Goode also added a game-high nine rebounds with five blocks.