BALTIMORE, Md. — Lagio Grantsaan finished with 17 points and eight rebounds to spark Morgan State to an 85-74 victory over Norfolk State on Monday night before a raucous crowd at Hill Field House.
Grantsaan made 6 of 9 shots from the floor, including 4 of 5 from the free-throw line, for the Bears (9-13, 4-6). De’Torrion Ware pitched in with 15 points, while Sherwyn Devonish added 11 points and nine assists and Malik Miller added 11 points with six boards.
Joe Bryant Jr., the league’s scoring leader, paced the Spartans (18-6, 9-2) with a game-high 20 points. Jalen Hawkins added 18 points while Kris Bankston added 12 points.
Down 44-36 at halftime, Morgan finally got it going in the second half behind relentless defensive pressure.
Morgan used a 15-6 run to take a 58-57 lead, their first since 4-3 in the first half. The next 3:44 saw neither team have more than a two-point lead with seven lead changes and two ties. Hawkins three with 6:52 left in the game was the last lead the Spartans had as the Bears responded with a three of their own by Ware from the corner with 6:36 remaining to take the lead they did not give up.
There was a three-minute period from 5:16 left to 2:15 remaining that neither team scored where Morgan went 1-6 from the floor and NSU went 1-4. The Bears scored a pair of free throws with two seconds left to push the final score to 85-74.
The defense turned it on in the second half, holding Norfolk to 10 of 28 shooting and just 2 of 13 from 3-point territory.
Morgan showed no hesitancy taking it right to the Spartans at the basket. The Bears finished with 38 points in the paint to Norfolk’s 34. Morgan also won the rebounding battle, 35-30 and scored 15 points off of Norfolk’s 13 turnovers.
Courtesy: Morgan State Athletics