Posted on January 21, 2014 at 12:43 AM
NORFOLK, Va. – Malcolm Hawkins scored 22 points and was one of five Spartans to reach double figures as the Norfolk State men’s basketball team took care of Coppin State, 83-71, Monday night at Joseph Echols Hall.
Two days after watching their 23-game MEAC win streak come to a close, the Spartans began a new one thanks to an even 50 percent shooting night and their dominance down low. NSU improved to 5-1 in conference play and 11-8 overall, while the Eagles dropped to 6-12 and 3-2 in conference play.
Hawkins hit 8-of-15 from the floor, including 4-of-8 from beyond the arc, and also led NSU with seven rebounds while adding four assists and two steals. On the night, the Spartans finished with a 42-31 advantage on the glass and also outscored Coppin State, 46-16, in points in the paint.
NSU led by as much as 22 in the second half after going into the intermission ahead by nine. The second half featured back-and-forth runs, and the Eagles got as close as 10 late in the game before coming up short.
The Spartans connected on 31-of-62 from the floor, while Coppin State hit 23-of-59 (39.0 percent). The Eagles shot 9-of-27 from 3-point range, with six of those treys coming in the first half.
The Eagles were hot from downtown to start a first stanza that eventually saw nine lead changes. Hawkins sank a trey at 14:39 for a six-point Spartan edge, but the Eagles had an answer for every NSU score. The Spartans could not push the advantage past six, and CSU scored seven straight to momentarily take the lead, 29-28 with 5:42 to go.
Senior Pendarvis Williams capped a 13-3 NSU run with a trey from the left corner for a 43-34 advantage with just 1:11 left before intermission. Included in that run was a crowd-pleasing alley-oop dunk from senior Brandon Goode on a pass from junior Jamel Fuentes. Two free throws by Williams gave the Spartans a nine-point edge at the half, 45-36.
The Spartans held a 21-13 advantage on the boards and committed just three turnovers in the first stanza. They finished with 14 turnovers overall.
Williams finished with 17 points on the night on 6-of-11 shooting with six rebounds.
NSU caught fire to start the second half, going on a 15-2 run for a 22-point advantage, 60-38. The Eagles answered with a 12-3 run of their own to get to within 13, but the Spartans quickly ended that threat by scoring nine straight. Junior Kievyn Lila-St. rose capped that run by converting a tough shot in the paint and hitting the ensuing free throw to put the Spartans back up by 22.
The Eagles scored 10 straight points before Alexis hit a short baseline jumper. A layup by Andre Armstrong with 40 seconds left cut NSU’s lead to just 10, but Armstrong missed two straight 3-pointers as time ticked down to close out the game.
Sophomore RaShid Gaston added 12 points and six boards, while Goode tallied 10 points, six rebounds and three blocks. Alexis also reached double figures with 10.
Armstrong led the Eagles with 20 points, while Michael Murray added nine points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
The Spartans had 14 fast break points.