Morgan’s 3-pointer lifts Hornets over Norfolk State

DOVER — Delaware State overcame an early double-digit deficit with strong second-half play to defeat Norfolk State, 67-64, in a tense MEAC men’s basketball contest in Memorial Hall on Saturday.

The Hornets (5-7 MEAC, 7-20 overall) have won three in a row for the first this season. The loss snapped a three-game win streak for the Spartans (9-3, 13-14), who entered the game in second place in the MEAC standings.

With the game tied 62-62 in the closing seconds, Devin Morgan nailed a three-pointer from the left wing to give the Hornets a 65-62 lead with five seconds left.

Norfolk State hurried the ball up the court, and D’Shon Taylor hit a jumper with 0.2 seconds left. An officials’ review determined that the shot was a two-pointer, preserving the lead for DSU, 65-64.

After a technical foul on Norfolk State’s bench and a brief scuffle on the court, Morgan hit two free throws for the Hornets to close out the scoring.

“We felt as long as we locked in and played our game, we could beat this team,” said Morgan. “We definitely thought, ‘We can get this one.’

“I’ve been in that situation before so my teammate looked for me. He drove, he kicked it out and I knocked it down.

“We’ve been through a lot this season and I think it paid off tonight,” said DeAndre Haywood. “It was a great team win.”

Delaware State trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half, and was down 38-26 at the break. The Hornets shot nearly 54 percent from the field in the second half en route to a 41-26 advantage over the Spartans in the final 20 minutes.

After failing to connect on six three-point shots in the first half, the Hornets were seven-for-13 from beyond the arc after the break.

Kavon Waller came off the bench to lead DSU with a game-high 18 points, tying the second-best scoring output of his career. Waller was six-for-nine from the field, including two-of-four on three-pointers.

Haywood added 15 points in a reserve role, highlighted by six-of-10 shooting from the field, while Morgan contributed 12 points and a team-high four assists to the win.

Aric Dickerson came off the bench to score nine points for the Hornets, hitting each of his three shots, all from three-point territory.

Delaware State outscored the Spartans 15-3 to start the second half, and tied the game at 41-41 on a three-point shot by Waller with 14:38 left.

DSU held its biggest lead, 56-47, on a jumper by Morgan with 6:29 left remaining.

Norfolk State answered with an 8-1 run, and pulled to within 57-55 on a free throw by Jordan Butler with 4:36 remaining.

After the Hornets stretched their lead to 62-57, NSU’s Jeff Short hit a three-pointer and Butler nailed two free throws with 23 seconds left to tie the game.

WOMEN, Delaware State 64, Norfolk State 61: Mikah Aldridge netted a career-high 26 points as the Hornets (5-7 MEAC, 8-17 overall) snapped a four-game losing streak.

NaJai Pollard added 17 points (8-of-14) as DelState beat the Spartans for the first time since 2013.

After facing its first deficit of the afternoon in the third quarter, the Hornets battled back to close the quarter on a 9-1 run in the final 3:39 to take a 48-42 advantage.

DSU had 20 turnovers to NSU’s 15, but the Hornets won the steals battle, 10-4. The Spartans outrebounded DelState, 41-36.

Aldridge notched her fourth 20-point game this season. Pollard also totaled team-highs in rebounds (8), steals (3) and blocks (2).

The Hornets are now 6-6 at home this season. DSU is now 23-18 all-time against the Spartans.

Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at newsroom@newszap.com

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