Seventh-seeded South Carolina State erased a 15-point second-half lead and got to overtime for a second consecutive night, however second-seeded Norfolk State outscored the Bulldogs 8-3 in the extra period to earn a 93-88 victory Wednesday in quarterfinal action of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament at The Scope.
SC State, down 55-40 early in the second half, battled back to take a late lead in regulation – 85-83 on Greg Mortimer's driving layup with 49.7 seconds to play, however, the Spartan's Jonathan Wade deadlocked the contest at 85-all with two free throws with 24.7 on the clock.
SC State took a timeout and ran an isolation play for Eric Eaves, however, his long jump attempt was off the mark and time expired, forcing overtime.
Coach Murray Garvin's team took an 88-85 lead in the extra period on a 3-pointer by Eaves with 3:22 left to play, but that would be the only score for SC State as the Spartans scored the game's last eight points to avoid being eliminating by the Bulldogs for a second straight year.
Eaves had 24 points to lead SC State which had four players in double figures. Mortimer added 21 including 11 of the team's final 14 points in regulation. Ed Stephens contributed 17 points and Tashombe Riley 14 and a game-high nine rebounds in the loss. Garvin's team finished the campaign at 11-20.
Norfolk State, which earned a spot in Friday's semifinals against either Howard or Morgan State, who meet on Thursday, was paced by Wade with 26 points and Zaynah Robinson with 20. The duo had eight rebounds each to lead the Spartans on the board.
Norfolk State, which led 47-36 at the half, improved to 16-15 on the year.