NORFOLK, Va. – The Norfolk State women’s basketball team claimed a 72-55 victory over Florida A&M in the opening round of the 2013 MEAC Tournament at the Norfolk Scope Arena on Tuesday afternoon, March 12.
The Spartans improved to 7-21 on the season while FAMU fell to 11-19 overall. NSU improved to 3-0 against the Lady Rattlers in MEAC Tournament play. NSU’s last win over FAMU came during the 2005 tournament, where NSU claimed a 52-47 victory in the semifinals.
The Spartans will take on North Carolina A&T on Wednesday afternoon in the 2013 MEAC Tournament quarterfinals. Tip-off is at 2:30 p.m. at the Norfolk Scope Arena.
Sophomore Ebony Brown had 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting, including a 5-of-8 effort from behind the arc.
The Spartans shot 57.1 percent (28-of-49) from the floor while holding FAMU to just 24.7 percent (18-of-73) shooting on the afternoon. Aside from Brown, NSU had three other players score in double-figures, including Batavia Owens, who had 16 points and nine rebounds. Rachel Gordon tallied 13 points and seven rebounds, while Quineshia Leonard posted 10 points and nine rebounds.
NSU dominated in the paint, outscoring FAMU, 36-12. The Spartans tied their season high with 21 assists.
NSU got on the board first with 19:17 to go as junior forward Gordon nailed a jumper to give the Spartans a 2-0 lead over the Lady Rattlers. Gordon was named to the All-MEAC second team earlier this week.
FAMU responded on the other end when Kimberly Sparkman knocked down a 3-pointer with 18:58 left in the first half to make the score 3-2. This was FAMU’s only lead of the game.
From there junior Aivah Parham made a layup with 13:02 left before halftime to cap a 12-4 run by NSU. The Spartans led 14-7.
Jasmine Grice drained another 3-pointer for FAMU with 12:31 remaining in the half, but the Lady Rattlers continued to trail NSU, 14-10. FAMU shot only 30.0 percent (9-of-30) from behind the arc on the afternoon.
Owens got the layup with 7:22 to go before halftime to cap a 9-3 run to make the score, 23-13.
FAMU went seven minutes without scoring a field-goal before Jamie Foreman made a layup inside with 23 seconds left to send the Lady Rattlers into halftime trailing NSU, 31-22.
Gordon got things started for the Spartans in the second half, as she made the layup with an assist by Trice with 19:50 left to make the score 33-22. Trice had 13 assists on the afternoon. This was the second most assists in a game she’s had in her career. She now has 500 career assists and 168 assists on the season.
The Lady Rattlers responded with a 3-pointer by Andreya Lacy, but they still trailed, 35-25, with 17:56 to go in the second half.
Leonard made a pair of free throws with 16:55 left to make the score 37-25. NSU shot 71.4 percent (10-of-14) from the charity stripe on the afternoon.
After going more than two minutes without a field-goal the Lady Rattlers finally scored as Sparkman drained another 3-pointer. FAMU continued to trail NSU, 37-28, with 15:25 remaining in the game.
Brown answered for the Spartans with a 3-pointer of her own at 15:01 to spark a 13-5 run and give NSU a 50-33 lead over FAMU. Brown made a career-high five 3-pointers in the win over FAMU. She led all scorers with 23 points, two blocks and one steal.
Grice drained a jumper with 7:17 remaining, but the Lady Rattlers continued to trail NSU, 53-39.
Brown kept things going offensively for NSU as she knocked down a jumper on the other end to make the score 59-40 with 6:05 left to play.
The Lady Rattlers would not go down without a fight. Grice nailed a 3-pointer with 4:33 remaining to cap a 10-2 run, but they still were down 11 points as NSU maintained a 61-50 lead.
The Spartans led by as many as 20 points in the second half when Owens got the free throw with 2:00 left in regulation. NSU led FAMU, 70-50. Owens’ bucket was the last field-goal of the game for NSU.
Foreman closed out the game for FAMU with a layup with 45 seconds to play.
FAMU only had two players score in double-figures. Sparkman led the Lady Rattlers with 19 points and five rebounds, while Grice finished with 13 points.
Story originally appeared on NSUSpartans.com, Copyright Norfolk State University