Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hampton rolls on, Norfolk State stumbles

Monday's second round of MEAC play brought one expected result and one mild surprise, at least to us.

Hampton 59, Savannah State 40: As expected, Hampton's ability to stop people easily trumped Savannah State's limited ability to score and the Lady Pirates (6-1, 2-0 MEAC) claimed their fourth straight victory. Choicetta McMillian led the way with 22 points - the fourth time this season she's scored at least 21 and the third time in her last four games - newly crowned MEAC Player of the Week Melanie Warner added 12 points and 8 rebounds and Jericka Jenkins dished out 8 assists. These numbers aside, the fact that Hampton shot just 33 percent is an indication the Lady Pirates' offense still isn't quite clicking, and that's something they'll need to address against more potent foes. But while Savannah State has a pretty good defense itself, unless the Lady Tigers were prepared to hold Hampton to 39 points, the Lady Pirates' subpar shooting percentage wasn't fatal Monday night.

South Carolina State 75, Norfolk State 69: Norfolk State hasn't won consecutive MEAC games since the 2006-07 season, but after the Spartans clipped Savannah State Saturday, it really seemed as though that streak would end tonight. Who knew the Spartans would fall behind 19-2 to start the game? Or get outrebounded 40-29? Or give up 52-percent shooting in the second half? Or send the Lady Bulldogs to the free throw line 38 times? Maybe it was just one of those nights. But the Spartans have proven they have a team capable of finally becoming a factor in the MEAC race, a team capable of a much better performance they it turned in Monday night. In years past, Norfolk State having a 5-3 overall record and a 1-1 mark in conference would be something to celebrate. But given the opportunity the Spartans missed at home against South Carolina State Monday, that record now actually feels a bit disappointing.

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