Red-hot Norfolk State climbs back into MEAC race ahead of Hampton showdown

NORFOLK (WAVY) – This college basketball season has been anything but steady for Norfolk State.

The Spartans began the season 1-12, their worst start in program history. Since then, the team has not only regained its footing, but after winning four straight conference games, has climbed right back into the race for a regular season championship.

“(We’re) finally getting the confidence, gaining the confidence that we can get this thing done,” said sophomore guard Steven Whitley, who’s been a spark plug for the Spartans.

Whitley, who transferred from Robert Morris University, is a homegrown product, who played his high school ball right down the street at Booker T. Washington. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Whitley leads the team in scoring (11.6 points per game) and assists (3.9 per night), and all having to take over for injured guard Zanay Robinson.

“He’s playing at a pretty good level right now for a guy who’s really not a point guard,” said head coach Robert Jones. “Now I have to look at him on my depth chart as a point guard for next year.”

Of those four wins, two were against Bethune-Cookman. The first was a buzzer-beating win, thanks to a Whitley layup as the horn sounded.

“A four game win streak is nice, but there’s still more,” said Jones, who added his team never lost sight of its goal, despite the rough start.

Now, NSU is right back in the race.