Courtesy of Norfolk State Athletic Communications
NORFOLK, Va. – Some big names from the Hampton Roads area will be coming to Joseph Echols Hall this season as the Norfolk State men’s basketball team announced its non-conference schedule on Friday.
The Spartans will renew rivalries with Hampton and ODU, the latter part of a home-and-home series that will start at NSU. The Spartans will play four home non-conference games this year. They will also host William & Mary for the first time ever, and UNCW will make a trip to Norfolk State as well.
The Spartans are set to host ODU on Dec. 2 at Echols Hall. It will mark Norfolk State’s first home game against ODU since the 1968-69 season and just the second ever. The two teams last played during the 2017-18 campaign at Scope Arena. The Spartans will make the return trip to ODU’s Chartway Arena during the 2022-23 season.
“We are thrilled to have this home-and-home series with ODU,” men’s head coach Robert Jones said. “It is great that they agreed to play here after such a long hiatus. Both programs are competitive year-in and year-out, and it’s a series that should be played often. We are looking forward to an exciting game.
Altogether, the Spartan men will play nine non-conference games, six at home (including five straight) and three away. Two of those road games take place at JMU against the host Dukes and Radford right after Thanksgiving. The Spartans also play at North Carolina A&T, a game that will count as non-conference as a result of the MEAC separating into divisions for the year.
“This year we put together a regionalized competitive schedule due to the nature of the pandemic,” Jones said. “We are looking forward to a renewed rivalry with Hampton, a long-awaited ODU game at Echols Hall, and a game against another neighbor in William and Mary. We also look forward to competing in some new matchups with UNCW and Radford. This schedule will be challenging in many ways, and we look forward to it.”
All men’s non-conference games will start at 7 p.m. The MEAC already released the conference schedule on Oct. 22. It was also announced today that all home conference doubleheaders for the Spartans will start at 6:30 p.m. on Saturdays and 8 p.m. on weekdays.
Other non-conference games could be added to the schedule later in the year.
Friday, Nov. 27 at James Madison
Saturday, Nov. 28 vs. Radford (at JMU)
Wednesday, Dec. 2 vs. Old Dominion, 7 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 7 vs. Hampton, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 9 vs. William & Mary, 7 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 18 vs. UNCW, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 29 at North Carolina A&T State
This year’s game with ODU will be the 20th all-time meeting between the two schools and the first since Dec. 22, 2017 at Scope, a 61-50 win for the Monarchs. Out of the previous 19 meetings, 18 were played either on ODU’s home court or at Scope.
The Monarchs hold a 13-6 series edge against the Spartans in a rivalry that began in 1965-66. The two programs played regularly during the early 1970’s, meeting several times during the regular season at Scope Arena and in the NCAA tournament when both teams were members of Division II.
Norfolk State’s last win came at Scope on Dec. 29, 1999 by a 67-64 score. The Spartans were victorious over the Monarchs in the first and only meeting on NSU’s campus, 113-102 on March 8, 1969 during the NCAA D-II South Atlantic Regional at the old Norfolk State College Gymnasium.
NSU and Hampton will renew their longstanding rivalry this year at Echols Hall. It will mark the third year in a row the teams will play a single game during the season after Hampton left for the Big South following the 2017-18 campaign. NSU won in double overtime two years ago in an epic contest at Echols Hall, 94-89, while HU was victorious last year on its home court by a 64-53 score.
The Spartans lead the all-time series with Hampton, 86-49. Except for two years in the late 1990’s, before NSU transitioned to Division I, the teams have met at least once each season since 1958-59.
NSU has faced William & Mary just twice in their history, both on the road. The last meeting came during the 2008-09 season, with the first occurring during NSU’s Division II days in 1982-83.
Norfolk State has never faced UNCW.