NORFOLK STATE TOPS UMES, 79-70
Neal Pitt had a career-high 27 points (23 in the second half) at Norfolk State Monday.
Neal Pitt had a career-high 27 points (23 in the second half) at Norfolk State Monday.

Jan. 19, 2009

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NORFOLK, Va. - Junior forward Neal Pitt (Fort Washington, Md.) scored a team and career-high 27 points, 23 of which came in the second half, but the Hawks couldn't overcome a 14-point halftime deficit, falling, 79-70, to Norfolk State at Echols Hall Monday.

Three others scored double digits for the Hawks, who dropped to 3-11 overall and 1-3 in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play. With the win, Norfolk State improved 5-11 and 3-2 in conference and has now won three of its last four games.

Pitt was 11-of-18 from the floor, while grabbing a game-high nine rebounds. Senior Gary Lee (Flint, Mich.) equaled his career high with 17 as Jaime Boyer (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Marc Davis (Baltimore, Md.) totaled 11 and 10 points, respectively.

NSU's Corey Lyons (29 points) and MEAC leading scorer Michael Deloach (19) led the way for the Spartans. Lyons was 9-for-13 from the field, including 5-for-7 from beyond the arc.

The Hawks opened the game on a 10-2 run over the first four minutes, but NSU took over from there, cruising out to a 22-5 run of its own to take a 24-15 advantage with 8:48 remaining in the first on a Deloach 3-pointer. Lyons tallied 13 in the spurt, including three from long range.

UMES got as close as eight when Lee converted 1-of-2 free throws to make it a 28-20 game with 4:43 left. NSU, though, continued to pour it on, closing the half on an 11-5 streak to take a 39-25 lead into the locker room.

As a team, the Spartans shot 16-of-31 (51.6 percent) from the field in the half and forced 10 the Hawks' 18 turnovers.

Norfolk's lead quickly ballooned to 18 at 43-25 with less than two-and-a-half minutes gone in the second on a Joe Dorsett-Jeffereys jumper.

UMES took the next three minutes to whittle it to a 50-36 game with 14:30 left as Pitt hit a driving layup.

With the NSU lead at 55-41 and 12:15 remaining, Pitt tallied six straight UMES points for a nine-point margin (56-47) with 8:44 to play.

The Spartans went on a 10-4 run to push the lead back to 15 with 5:58 to play, but UMES wouldn't quit. The Hawks got as close as eight on a three-point play from Davis with 1:54 to go to make things interesting before NSU secured the win at the free-throw line, sinking 5-of-8.

UMES was 16-of-28 in the second half for 57.1 percent, while NSU shot 10-of-24 (41.7 percent. The Spartans finished at 47.3 percent and the Hawks were 43.6 for the game.

The Spartans also won the rebounding battle, 34-31.

UMES faces North Carolina Central Jan.21 at 7:30 p.m.