Norfolk State 76, Morgan State 75
On Jan. 3, 2007, the Spartans won a MEAC road game. Five years and 11 days later, they did it again. Ultra-clutch guard Rae Corbo hit a runner in the lane with 20 seconds left as the Spartans snapped a 40-game conference road losing streak on their first try in the 2011-12 season.
Perhaps we should start calling her Corbo the Closer, for the 5-6 sophomore from Englewood, N.J. is making a habit out of slamming the door on opponents late. Two weeks ago, her two free throws with 8 seconds left nailed down NSU's 60-57 victory over George Mason. Last Saturday, her 30-foot bomb at the buzzer lifted the Spartans to a 61-58 victory over Maryland-Eastern Shore. And now this. Corbo the Closer. We like the sound of that.
Saturday, the Spartans surged to a 10-point lead late in the first half and were still ahead by 10 midway through the second half. Second-half leads have had a tendency to get away from this team, and it happened again Saturday as the Bears drew to within a point in the final two minutes. It was on from there. Tracey Carrington hit a pair of free throws to give Morgan a one-point lead. With 57 seconds left, rapidly developing low-post beast Batavia Owens (12 points and 12 huge rebounds) hauled in a Corbo miss and stuck it back to nudge the Spartans back in front. Omara Parker answered with a layup for Morgan State a few seconds later. And then, Corbo time.
Corbo finished with 15 points and Whitney Long had a team-high 16 points for the Spartans (8-8, 3-2 MEAC), who also recorded a team Division I record-tying 23 assists on 29 field goals.
And so the old walls of futility keep tumbling down. Wake up the kids, the Spartans finally have a conference road victory. Who knows what else these guys have in store?