Thomas scores 19, Norfolk St. beats South Carolina St. 74-69

ORANGEBURG, S.C. (AP) — Nic Thomas scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half to help Norfolk State rally from a nine-point deficit and beat South Carolina State 74-69 on Monday night for the Spartans‘ sixth win in a row.

Steven Whitley added 12 points, Joe Bryant scored 11 and Mastadi Pitt 10 for Norfolk State (11-10, 6-0 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference). Jordan Butler finished with 10 rebounds and three blocks.

Pitt made two free throws and Whitley added a layup to make it 68-all with four minutes left. Whitley’s steal led to a layup by Kyonze Chavis that gave the Spartans the lead for good less than 30 seconds later. Damani Applewhite hit 1 of 2 foul shots to pull SC State to 70-69 with 2:32 remaining but Whitley made a layup to push the lead back to three points and, after NSU defense forced a shot-clock violation, Thomas hit two free throws to cap the scoring with 8.7 seconds left.

Ian Kinard and Jahmari Etienne led South Carolina State (4-17, 2-3) with 12 points apiece.

The Bulldogs used a 9-0 run to take a 57-48 lead, their biggest, with 11½ minutes to play.