Senior guard Malcom Hawkins scored 25 points to lead Norfolk State to a 92-84 non-conference victory over winless Virginia Union on Friday night at Joseph Echols Hall in Norfolk, Va.
Forward RaShid Gaston had 17 points and 14 rebounds while guard Pendarvis Williams added 16 points as the Spartans (2-1) won their second straight. Hawkins topped 20 points for the third straight game and is averaging 23.6 points so far for Norfolk State.
Senior center Omar Briggs collected 22 points and 13 rebounds for the Panthers (0-3) while guard Avery Jirmnson and guard Michael Wynn each scored 15.
Norfolk State led 48-40 at halftime and opened a 62-46 lead with 14:22 left in the second half on Williams' 3-point shot. But Virginia Union slowly crept back into contention over the next nine minutes and took an 80-78 lead on center Omar Briggs' jam at the 4:43 mark.
The Spartans tied the game at 80-80 on a Hawkins jumper and reclaimed the lead for good at 83-80 lead on Hawkins' 3-pointer with 3:50 left in regulation.
The teams have played each other since the late 1950s and the Spartans improved to 62-42 all-time with the victory.
Norfolk State opens NIT Season Tip-Off play on Monday at Durham, N.C., against East Carolina. Virginia Union, which previously lost to Tuskegee and Morehouse, hosts Johnson C. Smith University next Wednesday.