Jamel Fuentes hit the game-winning shot with less than a minute remaining, and Norfolk State remained in the hunt to be the first MEAC team to go undefeated in conference play in almost 20 years with Saturday's 62-61 home win over Bethune-Cookman at Echols Hall.
Fuentes sank a layup at the 44-second mark that snapped a 59-all tie, and Malcolm Hawkins added a free throw for insurance about 25 seconds later. Norfolk State (19-10, 14-0 MEAC) logged its 13th consecutive victory, and needs to win just one of its final two regular-season games to secure the top seed in the MEAC tournament. Norfolk State will play both of those games at home.
The Spartans went into Saturday as one of just five Division I teams with an undefeated conference record. Norfolk State is trying to become the first MEAC team to post a perfect conference record since the 1993-94 Coppin State squad.
Bethune-Cookman did its best to tarnish that unblemished record. The Wildcats held Norfolk State to 36.2 percent shooting, and outrebounded the bigger Spartans by a 45-36 margin.
Pendarvis Williams led NSU with 14 points, his 15th double-digit performance in a 16-game span. Hawkins added 13 points, while Fuentes and Rashid Gaston scored 10 apiece. Gaston also grabbed 11 rebounds.
Paul Scotland scored 16 points to lead the visiting Wildcats (12-17, 7-7).