NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk State interim head coach Robert Jones stated before the season that he wanted to utilize an up-tempo offense in his first season at the helm of the men’s basketball program. After Wednesday night’s showing, it’s safe to say the Spartans are clicking on that side of the ball.
Led by a career-high 38 points from Pendarvis Williams, Norfolk State blew past Newberry 115-95 in the team’s 2013-14 home opener at Joseph Echols Hall.
Williams shot 14-of-19 from the field, including 5-of-8 from 3-point range, to score the second-most points by an NSU player in a Division I game. His career day only trailed Tony Murphy’s D-I record of 43 points set on Dec. 19, 2006.
The Spartans also scored the most points in the Division I era, breaking the previous record of 110 set in a double-overtime win three years ago. It marked the most points by a Norfolk State squad since the Spartans tallied 115 against Knoxville on Jan. 29, 1996.
NSU (1-1), though, had trouble pulling away from Newberry, which shot 16-of-40 from 3-point land for the game. The Spartans led by just three at the half, but a 20-5 run early in the second half allowed Norfolk State to cruise from there.
A 60.3 percent shooting effort from the floor (41-of-68), which included a 62-28 edge in points in the paint, was a result of NSU successfully attacking the rim against a smaller Newberry squad with just one player over 6-foot-6. The Spartans also held an 18-6 advantage in fastbreak points...