The Norfolk State men survived a scare from Virginia Union on Friday night, as the Spartans had just enough at the end to defeat the Panthers 92-84 in a matchup of former CIAA foes at Echols Hall.
Virginia Union remained in Division II while the Spartans moved up to Division I. VUU had the lead for more than nine minutes in the first half, but it looked as if the Spartans (2-1) were going to pull away in the second after turning an eight-point halftime lead into a 16-point advantage.
The Panthers (0-3) slowly trimmed the deficit, then went up 80-78 with 4:43 left. After the Spartans called timeout, redshirt senior Malcolm Hawkins scored a pair of baskets 30 seconds apart to put NSU up by three.
The Spartans never gave the lead back in winning their 14th straight home game.
Hawkins led all scorers with 25 points on 8-of-16 shooting. Sophomore RaShid Gaston had 17 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks.
Omar Briggs led Virginia Union (0-3) with 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting while adding 13 rebounds.
JMU 60, Northern Illinois 55
Ron Curry scored a game-high 19 points as James Madison beat Northern Illinois as part of the NIU Invitational round-robin in DeKalb, Ill.
Curry also handed out five assists for the Dukes (1-1), who bear a far different look than their surprising CAA tournament champs a season ago. Charles Cooke added 13 points and Andrey Semenov had 10 points and 10 rebounds. When the Dukes' lead was imperiled late in the game, Semenov's stick-back basket put JMU back ahead by four.
Travon Baker dropped in 17 points and Aaron Armstead added 16 for Northern Illinois (0-2).
Jada Payne had 23 points and 11 rebounds as East Carolina (3-0) turned back William and Mary 69-57 in Greenville, N.C., dropping the Tribe to 0-2.
A 15-4 run that gave the Pirates a 47-35 lead proved decisive. ECU led by as many as 19 after intermission.
Senior Kaitlyn Mathieu had 13 points, six rebounds and two blocks for the Tribe. Freshman Marlena Tremba added 13 points, four rebounds, three assists, and two steals. ...
In an opening-night clash of state Division III powers, Randolph-Macon upended preseason NCAA Division III No. 3 Christopher Newport 92-86 in R-MC’s tipoff event in Ashland. The Yellow Jackets raced to a 24-point lead with 8:38 left and held off a big CNU comeback.
Taylor Huber scored 22, Katie Anderson 18 and Hannah Livermon 16 for R-MC. Tia Perry, a Tabb High alumna, scored 28, Nicole Mitchell 21 and Brandi Holland 17 for the Captains. ...
Apprentice beat Southern Virginia 75-58 in Buena Vista, outscoring SVU 35-11 in the first half to give Keith Stagg his first collegiate head-coaching triumph.
Courtney Collins scored 18 points, Danita Whitaker 16 and Shanae Hilliard 14 for the Builders. Whitaker had 12 rebounds, and Kenya Wilkerson had seven assists. ...
Norfolk State (1-1) beat Radford 66-54 at Echols Hall behind 16 points and 16 rebounds from Rachel Gordon, who shot 8-of-10 from the field.
Ebony Brown added 14 points and Rae Corbo 12 for the Spartans. For Radford (2-1), Ayana Avery and Breshara Gordon netted 14 points apiece.