NORFOLK, Va. -- Steven Whitley had 16 points, nine rebounds and seven assists Monday night and No. 5 seed Norfolk State beat 12th-seeded Maryland-Eastern Shore 78-68 in the first round of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament.
The Spartans (14-18) advanced to face No. 4 seed North Carolina A&T in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
Eastern Shore (7-25) had a late rally with nine straight points to close the deficit to 70-60, but the Spartans answered with five quick points and kept the lead in double digits.
Norfolk State opened the game on a 14-3 run and led by at least nine until Eastern Shore went on a 9-3 run to close to 32-27 with 1:12 left in the half. But the Spartans closed with the final five points of the half and, before the midpoint of the second half, had a 15-4 run to pull away to a 57-39 lead.