In the most stunning result of the MEAC season, Bethune-Cookman upset Norfolk State 70-68 in overtime in the quarterfinals of the league tournament Wednesday at The Scope in Norfolk, Va.
Adrien Coleman, the conference's scoring champion this year, poured in 24 points for the Wildcats (14-19) in a rematch of last season's MEAC tournament championship game. Coleman scored the final five points of regulation in the last two minutes to force OT.
The Spartans (21-11) saw their 15-game win streak end, and they were one-and-done in the conference tourney after completing the MEAC regular-season schedule with a 16-0 record. Norfolk State was the first MEAC team to go undefeated in league play since the 1993-94 Coppin State squad.
Norfolk State shot 31.6 percent from the field, and it went 7-for-29 (24.1 percent) after halftime, including an 0-for-7 mark in overtime. The Spartans led 33-23 at halftime and still held a 46-36 advantage after a 3-pointer by walk-on Kris Brown with 13:23 remaining in regulation.
Pendarvis Williams, the MEAC Player of the Year, scored 19 points to lead the Spartans. Off the Norfolk State bench, Brown added 15 points, and MEAC Rookie of the Year Rashid Gaston scored 12. Rob Johnson added 10 points. Malcolm Hawkins, Norfolk State's second-leading scorer behind Williams, finished with three points, shooting 0-for-8 from the floor.
Bethune-Cookman advances to Friday's semifinals, where it will play either Morgan State or Savannah State. The Bears and Tigers play their quarterfinal game Thursday.
Norfolk State, by virtue of its MEAC regular-season title, is guaranteed an NIT berth. It marks the second straight year that the MEAC regular-season champion lost in the quarterfinals of the league tourney. Last season, eighth-seeded Hampton knocked off Savannah State.