Tuesday's local college basketball roundup: Norfolk State women earn first-round MEAC victory at Scope

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Bouncing back from a disappointing regular season, the 10th-seeded Norfolk State women's basketball team defeated No. 7 Florida A&M 72-55 Tuesday in the opening round of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament at Norfolk Scope Arena.

Sophomore Ebony Brown led the way for the Spartans with 23 points (7-21) and went 5-for-8 from 3-point range, but because she hit her head, she might not be available for the next game.

That’s Wednesday, when Norfolk State faces No. 2 seed North Carolina A&T in a quarterfinal. Hampton High graduate Quineshia Leonard added 10 points for NSU.

In the other first-round game, Tierra Hawkins scored a game-high 16 points to help lead No. 9 Delaware State to a 55-44 win over No. 8 Bethune-Cookman.

Men:

Bethune-Cookman won its first-round MEAC game at Scope Arena, handling Coppin State 89-78 as Adrien Coleman scored 28 points and Kevin Dukes added a season-high 22.

The Wildcats, who shot 57 percent from the field in the second half, will face top-seeded Norfolk State. ...

Lamont Middleton scored all 12 of his points in the second half as N.C. A&T beat Florida A&M 65-54, the Aggies’ third win over the Rattlers this season. ...

Albert Thomas scored a career-high 21 points as Delaware State defeated Howard 73-61.

The sixth-seeded Hornets (14-17) snapped a two-game skid that began after they defeated the Bison 56-53 on March 2. Delaware State plays third-seeded Hampton on Wednesday.

Howard, guided by former Hampton coach Kevin Nickleberry, finished 7-24.

Northeast Conference:

Former New Kent High standout Jamion Christian's first season as a head coach ended with his Mount St. Mary's team falling one victory short of an NCAA bid.

Host Long Island University Brooklyn beat the Mount in Brooklyn, N.Y., 91-70 for the Northeast tournament title behind C.J. Garner's career-high 31 points.

Third-seeded LIU Brooklyn (20-13) won its third straight title. But it was coming off a season in which four of its players were suspended in the fall for their role in a fight and reigning NEC Player of the Year Julian Boyd tore his ACL in December.

Sam Prescott, who scored 19 points, started 4-for-4 from 3-point range before going cold in the second half for the fifth-seeded Mountaineers, Christian's team had won nine games in a row, including a semifinal upset of top-seeded Robert Morris. The Mount favors the "Havoc" style of pressure defense used by VCU, where Christian assisted Shaka Smart before going to Emmitsburg, Md.

Atlantic 10:

VCU guard Briante Weber of Chesapeake, one of the nation's steal leaders, was named the Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year.

Fellow Rams Juvonte Reddic and Treveon Graham made the All-A-10 second team after helping VCU to second place among 16 teams in the regular season. Richmond's Darien Brothers made the third team.

Rams guard Darius Theus of Portsmouth joined Weber on the All-Defensive Team. VCU's Melvin Johnson, who grew up in the Bronx, N.Y., and will have a sort of homecoming at this week's conference tournament in Brooklyn, was an All-Rookie choice.

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