NORFOLK, VA. - Howard University will take on the Spartans of Norfolk State University at Echols Gym tonight on ESPNU at 9 pm. It is part of the ESPNU/MEAC TV package and a celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday.
It should prove to be a good match-up between two teams that have mini streaks going. The Bison (4-14 overall, 3-1 in the MEAC) have won two in a row and three of their last four. Howard's latest win was an 82-77 against North Carolina A&T in Greensboro, NC on Saturday.
In that game, the Bison shot a season best 51 percent from the field, including 66 percent in the first half. The offensive explosion was led by sophomore guard Calvin Thompson, who poured in a career-high 33 points while also grabbing seven rebounds. For that effort, Thompson has been named the MEAC Player of the Week.
Thompson got scoring help from senior guard Curtis White, who added 18 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists, and freshman forward Dadrian Collins, who contributed 15. Collins has been playing well of late and he has been selected the MEAC co-Rookie of the Week along with Morgan State's DeWayne Jackson.
The Spartans (3-12 overall, 2-2 in the MEAC) have won two in a row after an 11-game losing skid. Norfolk State has posted victories over Florida A&M (78-65) on the road and against rival Hampton University (66-50) on Saturday.
The Spartans are led by their 6-0 senior guard Michael DeLoach, who is second in the MEAC in scoring at over 20 points per game. He is also second in the conference in steals and he ranks in the Top 10 in several statistical categories. DeLoach is the MEAC Pre-season player of the Year.
DeLoach has been getting help from junior guard Rob Hampton, who is averaging 11.4 points and 4.5 rebounds per game and 6-10 sophomore forward Kyle O'Quinn, who is averaging almost nine points per game to go along with 7.6 rebounds and 18 blocked shots.
The two teams split last season, each winning on its own court. Charlie Neal will provide the play by play and Stan Lewter will handle the color commentary.