NORFOLK, Va., – No. 13 Savannah State held on to upset No. 4 Norfolk State in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) tournament first round inside the Norfolk Scope Arena.
All-MEAC selection Kaylee Allen registered a game-high 21 points before fouling out. Heniaya Moton added nine points, five boards and four steals, while Alexxus Sowell chipped in eight points and seven rebounds off the bench.
After halftime, Savannah State pushed its lead to seven, 36-29, but the Spartans gradually chipped away at the deficit. Norfolk State’s Raven Russell drilled a three with less than a minute left in the third to cut the margin down to one, 40-39, but a layup from Sowell gave the Tigers a three-point edge, 42-39.
In the fourth quarter, Savannah State held a six-point lead, 45-39, until Norfolk State went on a 9-3 run and tied the game, 48-48.
Savannah State made a clutch free throws down the stretch to take the lead, 51-48.
Both squads were deadlocked after a layup from Savannah State’s Alexxus Sowell, 11-11, but the Spartans went on a 10-3 run and held a seven-point advantage with more than a minute remaining in the first period, 21-14. Savannah State’s Kaylee Allen made a pair of freebies and cut the deficit to five after one, 21-16.
Norfolk State’s Kayla Roberts made two buckets and extended the Spartans lead to nine, 25-16, but Savannah State answered with a 9-0 spurt and tied the contest with 6:09 left before intermission, 25-25.
After another layup from Roberts, Savannah State outscored the Spartans, 7-4, and took a 32-29 halftime lead.
Norfolk State (18-11) was led by Kayla Roberts, All-MEAC First Team honoree, with 17 points, while Raven Russell netted 10 points in a losing effort.
Savannah State awaits the winner between No. 5 Howard and No. 12 Florida A&M. Tip-off is set for Thursday at 2 p.m.