Pendarvis Williams totaled 23 points and 12 rebounds as the Norfolk State Spartans won their seventh straight game and remained undefeated in the MEAC with an 80-70 victory over Coppin State on Saturday at Physical Education Complex in Baltimore.
Norfolk State (13-10, 8-0 MEAC) strengthened its already substantial lead in the conference. Heading into Saturday, every other team in the league had at least three losses in MEAC play.
This win, which came in the first of two games on a road trip to play the conference's two Baltimore representatives, secured at least a .500 finish in conference for NSU. The Spartans have yet to post a losing record in league play since joining the MEAC.
It has become commonplace this season to see Norfolk State build a big lead in the second half, only to withstand a strong comeback bid by the opposition and win by a smaller margin.
The game at Coppin continued that trend the Spartans led by as many as 18, reaching that separation on four occasions in the second half, with the last a 64-46 advantage at the 7:31 mark.
Coppin State answered, getting as close as 74-68 with 1:20 remaining. Patrick Cole loomed large during the 22-10 run, scoring all 12 of his points during the Eagles' attempted rally. Norfolk State held on, however, by going 4-for-4 on free throws in the final minute and getting an insurance bucket from Rob Johnson.
Malcolm Hawkins added 17 points and Rashid Gaston scored 13 for the Spartans. Andre Armstrong led all scorers with 24 for Coppin (5-18, 2-6).