NSU bests Howard in MEAC Tourney
Kyle O’Quinn tallied 25 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots to lead No. 6 Norfolk State to a 68-53 win over No. 11 Howard in a MEAC Tournament first round game on Wednesday afternoon at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
With the win, the Spartans (11-19) advance to a 6 p.m. quarterfinal game Thursday night against No. 3 Coppin State. Howard ends its season with a 6-24 record.
Both teams struggled on offense in the first half, which ended in a 25-all tie. But Howard would come out hot in the second half, hitting four 3-pointers in the first 3:09 of play. Dadrian Collins hit three of those, the last of which gave the Bison a 37-32 edge. Mike Phillips then scored on a layup to give Howard a 39-32 lead with 16:17 left.
But Howard would not hit another field goal for the next 10 minutes, 45 seconds. Meanwhile, NSU used a 20-0 run to seize control. O’Quinn had nine points and Pendarvis Williams six in the surge. The Bison did not make another field goal until Kyle Riley’s layup with 5:32 left in the game. By that time, Howard trailed by 14 points, and the Bison could not get within 11 the rest of the way.
NSU sealed the game by hitting 12-of-17 from the free throw line in the second half, and 24-of-34 (71 percent) for the game. The Spartans, who shot just 27 percent from the floor in the first half, made 65 percent of their field goals (15-of-23) in the second half.
Howard scored the game’s first eight points as the Spartans started off slowly. NSU missed its first four shots before Brandon Wheeless hit a 3-pointer with 15:10 left in the half, cutting Howard’s lead to 8-3. NSU took its first lead at 22-21 on a three-point play by O’Quinn with 5:41 remaining in the half.
Marcos Tamares added 11 points and Williams 10 for NSU. Aleek Pauline had a game-high seven assists to go with six rebounds. Williams and Tamares also grabbed five rebounds apiece.
Riley scored 14 points while Collins and Anton Dickerson had 11 apiece for the Bison, who shot just 27 percent from the floor on the night.