YPSILANTI, Mich. – The Norfolk State men’s basketball team saw its season come to a close with a hard-fought, 58-54 loss to Eastern Michigan Tuesday night in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
The Spartans were not without their chances late in the game after the Eagles had gone up by seven at the Convocation Center. NSU had a chance to tie it with less than 10 seconds to go, but a 3-point attempt by senior Pendarvis Williams clanked off the iron, and EMU hit 1-of-2 from the line on the other end to finish the win.
The loss ended NSU’s season at 19-15 in the third straight postseason appearance for the Spartan program, and the only three in its Division I era. EMU (22-14) moved on to the next round of the CIT against a yet-to-be determined opponent.
It was a slow, at times slogging contest, as both teams shot right around 41 percent for the game. The Eagles overcame a huge disadvantage on the glass and converted a few more free throws than the Spartans for the big difference.
NSU was hurt by its 17 turnovers, compared to just seven for EMU. That gave the Eagles an 18-6 advantage in points off turnovers for the night.
Neither team had more than a five-point lead in the first half, and NSU trailed by just one going into the break. EMU went ahead by five points early in the second stanza, and a fastbreak dunk by Glenn Bryant gave the Eagles a six-point lead with 13:28 to go. The slow pace of the game allowed NSU to stay within a five-point margin for the next nine minutes until Da’Shonte Riley’s bucket put the Eagles up 56-49 with a little more than four minutes left in the game.
The Eagles did not score for the next several minutes, and senior Brandon Goode had a pair of buckets, the latter a putback layup with just 1:25 left. That cut the deficit to three for NSU, and the Spartans eventually got to within two at 56-54 when sophomore RaShid Gaston hit 1-of-2 from the line with 26.3 seconds on the clock.
Courtesy of meacsports.com
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