If you look at the record for the Norfolk State Spartans Football Team last season, you will walk away unimpressed. With a 6-5 record and ending the season with 3 losses to MEAC opponents, it’s hard to argue that they were the class of the MEAC in football. However, when it comes to Men’s Basketball this season, the Norfolk Spartans are a completely different problem to solve for MEAC opponents. Led by their trio of guards the Spartans are third in the MEAC in points per game, second in overall points having played less games than the star leading Bulldogs, and their second in 3-point percentage. The Norfolk State Spartans are playing at a remarkably high level this season. Their overall record of 14-4 leads the conference, with impressive wins over Howard, Grambling, and Coppin State. Their guard Joe Bryant leads the conference in scoring with 292 points on the season thus far, adding 18 in their last game. There are several tests up ahead for this Spartans team with two games against South Carolina State, and rematches with Coppin and Howard, but it’s safe to say that this 2022 Norfolk State team is playing at a championship level.
In their game against Echols Hall, The guard trio of Christian Ings, Jalen Hawkins and Joe Bryant Jr. scored 18 points apiece and Norfolk State outscored Morgan State by 18 after halftime to cruise to its fifth straight win, 82-62, on Monday night at Echols Hall. The Spartans (14-4, 5-0 MEAC) shot 52 percent after halftime and held the Bears (6-10, 1-3) to 28 percent in the stanza to remain undefeated in the MEAC.
NSU shot an even 50 percent (23-of-46) on the night, 44 (11-of-25) from 3-point range. The Spartans, meanwhile, limited MSU to 32 percent shooting for the game.
After committing 11 first-half turnovers, the Spartans had just four after intermission. They also outrebounded MSU 42-37.
Ings was 7-of-9 from the floor. He made both of his 3-pointers and both of his free throws and added four assists. Bryant did much of his damage at the line, making 11-of-12, and he led all players with six assists and also had two steals. Bankston chipped in nine points, eight rebounds and two blocks.
Lagio Grantsaan paced MSU with 14 points.
The next big test for this team comes on Jan. 29th when they square off against a 10 win South Carolina State team.