Malcolm Hawkins and Rob Johnson combined for 41 points Monday night as Norfolk State beat the South Carolina State 78-72 in Orangeburg, S.C.
Hawkins scored a career-high 21 points. Johnson, selected the MEAC Defensive Player of the Week earlier Monday, finished with 20 points and a team-high seven rebounds.
The Spartans (5-5, 2-0 MEAC) logged their third straight win overall and completed a 2-0 trip to Savannah State and S.C. State. Norfolk State, which won the MEAC tournament championship last season, defeated the 2011-12 regular-season champ Tigers by a 55-45 margin Saturday.
Norfolk State has won four of its past five meetings with S.C. State, and a big run near the end of the first half helped continue that success Monday.
The Spartans trailed 27-25 with less than four minutes remaining in the half, then closed the period on a 15-1 run to lead 40-28 going into the break. Norfolk State stayed in front the entire second half, most of it by double digits, though the Bulldogs did narrow the gap in crunch time.
Freshman Darryl Palmer led South Carolina State (4-4, 0-1) with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Khalif Toombs contributed 12 points for the Bulldogs.
Norfolk State returns to action on Sunday when it hosts UMBC. South Carolina State plays at Maryland on Saturday.