|No. 2 Norfolk State uses Defense to advance over No. 7 North Carolina Central||< All News|
|Wednesday, March 9, 2016|
NORFOLK, Va.—The No. 2 Norfolk State Spartans used a strong defensive effort to hold off the No. 7 North Carolina Central Eagles and advance to the semifinals with a 66-47 victory on Wednesday night at the Norfolk Scope Arena.
Jeff Short, an All-MEAC First Team selection, led the way for the Spartans with 16 points while teammate D’Shon Taylor registered 13 points and six rebounds. However, it was their defense that proved the difference. Norfolk State held the rebound advantage, 38-34, and tallied eight blocks along the way. Taylor, Jonathan Wade and All-MEAC Rookie selection Alex Long rejected two shots each.
Dante Holmes, an All-MEAC Second Team selection, scored 17 points for the Eagles, leading all scorers in what would prove to be his final collegiate contest. Kyle Benton led in rebounds with seven and Patrick Cole dished out three assists.
After the Eagles took a 1-0 lead on a free throw, Zaynah Robinson drained a three for the Spartans, and the No. 2 seed never trailed from that point on. Norfolk State led by as many as 18 points in the first half, ultimately taking a 15-point lead (36-21) into the locker room at halftime.
The Eagles trimmed their deficit to 12 at the 16:48 mark of the second half, but that would be as close as they would get the rest of the way.
Norfolk State will face the winner of No. 3 South Carolina State/No. 11 Coppin State on Friday night.