|Norfolk State Defeats Howard to Advance to Semis||< All News|
|Thursday, March 12, 2015|
NORFOLK, Va. --- Rae Corbo scored 17 of her game-high 22 points in the second half and Nia Roberts recorded a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds to lead Norfolk State to a 67-55 win over Howard University in the quarterfinals of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament at the Norfolk Scope.
The Lady Spartans (14-15), the Number 4 seed, advance to the semifinal round against the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, the Number 8 seed, on Friday at noon.
Norfolk State jumped out to an early 13-0 lead before the Lady Bison (4-27), the Number 12 seed, scored its first basket at the 10:38 mark. Howard, which had shot the ball well, in the opening round victory over South Carolina State, started the game at 0-for-13 despite getting several good looks at the basket. Norfolk State took advantage of the undermanned Lady Bison, utilizing its bench to wear down Howard, which had eight players in uniform and played only six.
“It kills you,” replied Howard Coach Tennille Adams, when asked about the team’s lack of depth. “You cut into the lead, you press but you still can’t get over the hump. It was like there was a lid on the basket on inside and outside shots. It was just one of those nights.”
Howard missed 22 of 31 in the first half and 38 of 71 (32 percent) for the game.
Roberts led all scorers with 10 points, but six other players spread the wealth with between three and six points. Norfolk State was able to offset a less-than-spectacular shooting performance (43 percent), by dominating the boards, 25-12. The Lady Spartans led, 35-23 at the break.
Howard was able to climb back in the game on the second half scoring of Imani Bailey, who tallied 10 of her 15 after intermission and Cheyenne Brown and Sydni Johnson. The Lady Bison twice cut the deficit to eight by trailing by as many as 15. But Howard had no answer for Corbo, who once scored 11 straight points and 13 of 15 to keep them at bay.
While Corbo did most of her damage on outside shooting and drives to the basket, Roberts and her sister, Kayla Roberts who combined for 20 rebounds and 21 points between them. Norfolk State out-rebounded Howard, 54-35 and its bench held the advantage, 21-3.
“I think that our defensive effort and our rebounding was a big key tonight,” said Norfolk State head coach Debra Clark. “By rebounding, we were able to get out in transition, which is how like to play.”
Added Corbo, a second team all-MEAC selection, “Coach always encourages me that when I have a slow first half, that the second half is my time. I just try to do what my team needs from me to win.”
Howard was led by Brown and Bailey, who each tallied 15 and Johnson, who grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds.
Norfolk State and UMES met once this season and the Lady Hawks prevailed 60-50 in Norfolk on February 9.
“Rebounding will be a key for us,” said Clark of the match-up against UMES. “Both teams are playing much better than when we met in January. We are looking forward to the challenge.”