The Norfolk State Spartans earned a statement victory with a 63-60 win over the VCU Rams. The Spartans win back-to-back games against Virginia teams having beaten William & Mary 96-62 on Tuesday. Norfolk State improves to 6-3, the best record in the MEAC, although conference games have yet to commence.

In the Spartans' previous game against William & Mary, Jamarii Thomas got off to a hot start, affecting all areas of the game. Against the Rams, however, he took a little longer to warm up. In fact, in the first half, no one Spartan really stood out offensively. Everyone chipped in for a more overall scoring approach.

Defensively, however, the Spartans turned up the pressure. They allowed just 23 first half points, the lowest mark of their entire season. The Rams turned the ball over seven times in the half, giving Norfolk State plenty of opportunities to capitalize. Though the Spartan offense struggled to get going, the defense helped them go into half time with a 26-23 lead over VCU.

Both teams were dead even in the second half – they both scored 37 points. The Spartans quickly jumped to a 32-25 lead before extending it to a 38-28 advantage. The deficit ocellated between seven and 10 points throughout the second half until the four-minute mark. Norfolk State took a 12-point lead following a pair of free throws from Thomas. After the free throws, however, VCU went on a 9-0 run to cut the lead down to 54-51. With just over a minute to go, Thomas hit a huge three-pointer to give the Spartans a six-point cushion. VCU's Christian Fermin made layup to cut into the gap, but it was matched by a layup from Allen Betrand. The game slowed down considerably in the final minute as both teams traded free throws. With six seconds to go, Norfolk State's Christian Ings missed a free throw, giving the Rams one final opportunity. Down by just three points, Max Shulga came out of the timeout with a chance to hit a game-winning three. Shulga missed, and the Spartans walked away with the win.

Jamarii Thomas and Allen Betrand both led all players in scoring with 17 points each. Thomas added five assists, three rebounds, and three steals to his stat line, while Allen had three rebounds, a block, and a steal. Christian Ings helped out with 12 points of his own and two rebounds. As a team, Norfolk state went 2-16 from three-point land, but they also made 15 over their 17 free throws.

For the VCU Rams, Zeb Jackson led the team with 15 points, three rebounds, three assists, and a block. Max Shulga made just two of his 12 three point attempts, though he scored 14 points and made all four of his free throws. Jason Nelson added 11 points, four rebounds, and three assists.

The Spartans get a short break from the action. They don't play again until Dec. 9 against Illinois State.