Alabama tops cold-shooting Norfolk State, 68-49

norfolk state logoA cold spell in the second half doomed the Norfolk State men’s basketball team to a 68-49 loss to Alabama on Saturday afternoon at the Coleman Coliseum in NSU’s last road non-conference game of the season.

NSU went nearly seven minutes without scoring after trailing by just five at the break. The Spartans shot 25 percent after intermission after hitting better than 46 percent in the first half. The Crimson Tide knocked down 11 3-pointers and held NSU to a 6-of-22 effort from behind the arc.

Senior Jeff Short was the lone bright spot for the Spartans, as he finished with 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including a 4-of-7 effort from 3-point range. He finished as the team’s only double-digit scorer as NSU was held to a season low in points.

Retin Obasohan, meanwhile, shot 9-of-12 overall for a 23-point effort for the Tide. Arthur Edwards hit 5-of-9 from behind the arc for 15 points.

Alabama made 22-of-48 from the floor (45.8 percent), with exactly half of those makes and attempts (11-of-24) coming from long range.

NSU got off to a quick start at the beginning of the contest, but Alabama countered with three early 3-pointers and then held the Spartans scoreless for a little more than four minutes. NSU fell behind by six seven minutes into the game before junior Preston Bungei sank back-to-back elbow jumpers.

The Alabama lead hovered between five and seven points before Short’s 3-pointer – the first of the game for NSU – cut the deficit to two, 23-21, at the 6:52 mark. Alabama continued to hit from long range while NSU had more success at the mid-range level. The Tide went up by as much as eight late in the half before going into the break ahead by a 33-28 margin.

Neither team scored in the last three and a half minutes after junior Brian Kelley got a shot up in the paint at 3:44 with the shot clock winding down. Alabama still finished the half with six 3-pointers.

The Tide scored the first six points of the second half for their first double-digit lead of the game and outscored the Spartans 15-5 to start the stanza. The Tide later scored 12 straight to put the game out of reach and held NSU scoreless for a seven-minute span for a 26-point advantage. Short finally ended that long drought with a 3-pointer from the left corner and subsequent free throw for a 4-point play at 4:50.

Sophomore Justin Peebles-Jennings hit a trey at 1:56 for the final scoring of the game.

The Spartans hit 19-of-54 for the game (35.2 percent). Bungei and senior D’Shon Taylor each added eight points.
The Tide held the rebounding edge, 36-29, and outscored NSU 11-6 in second-chance points.

NSU will play its last non-conference game of the year on Tuesday at home against Princeton at 7 p.m. from Joseph Echols Hall.

         
 

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