Norfolk State falls at Stony Brook, 81-65

norfolk stateStony Brook rode a big first half to an 81-65 win over Norfolk State on Sunday at Island Federal Credit Union Arena.

The Seawolves closed the first half on a big run, leading to a 20-point edge at the break. The Spartans got as close as 12 in the second half, as they scored 31 more points in the second stanza than the first. Stony Brook ultimately earned the victory thanks to 12 3-pointers and a solid day at the free throw line.

NSU was led by the trio of seniors Jermaine Bishop and Steven Whitley and sophomore Joe Bryant Jr. They combined for 49 points, and Whitley nearly pulled off the triple double with 14 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and two steals.

Bryant added 18 points, and Bishop heated up in the second half to finish with 17, hitting 4-of-8 from deep.

NSU fell to 4-11 in its last non-conference game of the regular season. Stony Brook improved to 9-6.

The Seawolves had four players in double figures, led by Elijah Olaniyi with 20 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. He was 5-of-10 from the floor and 8-of-10 from the free throw line, as Stony Brook shot 21-of-24 from the charity stripe for the game. They made 46 percent from the floor, including 12-of-27 from deep.

The Spartans turned it up in the second half. After Bryant’s 3-point play, NSU knocked down a few 3-pointers to get its offense going. The Seawolves went up by 24 before Whitley had a pair of buckets during a 7-0 run. Bryant later sank another 3-pointer, and Bishop made two more to cut the deficit to 14 with seven and a half minutes to go.

A dunk by freshman Tyrese Jenkins off a turnover made it 67-55 with six minutes left in the contest. But the Seawolves held a lead of at least 13 points from then on out.

The Spartans shot 40 percent for the game – almost 52 percent in the second half – but a 24 percent first half (6-of-25) was too much to overcome. NSU did make 6-of-14 from deep in the second after a 1-of-9 start to the game.

NSU forced 17 turnovers by Stony Brook, including 11 in the first half as the teams combined for 21 in the first 20 minutes. The Spartans, however, did not have another one for the rest of the game.

In the opening minutes of the contest, both teams turned it over several times, although Stony Brook led from the start and never gave it up. Whitley got the Spartans to within one after a bucket and a free throw, and a trey from Bishop and a 3-point play from junior Kashaun Hicks kept it a one-possession game more than halfway through the opening stanza.

Makale Foreman continued his hot start from deep, as two more 3-pointers started a 21-3 run for the Seawolves. It lasted more than eight minutes leading into the half, as NSU converted just one field goal during that time. Olaniyi had two 3-point plays and a 3-pointer to spark Stony Brook as well. He and Foreman combined for 27 of the team’s first-half points on the way to a 37-17 lead at the break.

Foreman finished with 16, hitting 5-of-9 from deep, while Andrew Garcia played a big role in the second half. He scored 12 of his 18 points during that time, hitting 5-of-10 from the floor with eight rebounds and two blocks.

Miles Latimer added 11 points, as he, Olayini and Garcia each knocked down a pair of shots from beyond the arc.

NSU led in points off turnovers (15-9) and points in the paint (28-20). The Spartans got just seven points from their bench, however, and were 12-of-22 from the free throw line.

Stony Brook held a 42-30 edge on the glass.

The Spartans will begin MEAC play on Saturday at home against Bethune-Cookman.


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