Norfolk State announces a very Virginia-heavy mens’ and women’s basketball schedules

David Hall, The Virginian-Pilot
·3 min read

Home games against Old Dominion, Hampton, UNC Wilmington and William & Mary highlight the 2020-21 men’s non-conference schedule released Friday by Norfolk State.

As The Virginian-Pilot reported last month, the Spartans are set to play host to ODU on Dec. 2 at Echols Hall. It will mark NSU’s first home game against the cross-town rival since the 1968-69 season and just the second overall.

The two teams last played during the 2017-18 season at Scope, a 61-50 win for the Monarchs. 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,” said NSU coach Robert Jones. “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 Spartans 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.

NSU will 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.

All men’s non-conference games will start at 7 p.m., and all home conference doubleheaders for will start at 6:30 p.m. on Saturdays and 8 p.m. on weekdays.

The MEAC released the conference schedule on Oct. 22.

NSU and Hampton will renew a longstanding rivalry. It will mark the third straight time the teams will play a single game during the season after Hampton left the MEAC for the Big South following the 2017-18 campaign.

NSU won in double overtime two years ago at Echols Hall, 94-89, while Hampton was victorious by a 64-53 score on its home court last season.

The Spartans lead the all-time series with Hampton, 86-49. Except for two years in the late 1990s, before NSU transitioned to Division I, the teams have met at least once each season since 1958-59.

NSU has faced William & Mary just two times, both on the road. The most recent meeting came during the 2008-09 season, with the first occurring during the Spartans' Division II days in 1982-83.

NSU has never faced UNCW.

Home opponents for NSU’s women include William & Mary and Richmond. Those two schools highlight the Spartans' three-game home non-conference slate.

Both programs will make the trek to NSU after the Spartans played road games at those schools last year.

The third home non-conference game for the Spartans comes against Salem College in their home opener on Thanksgiving weekend.

The Spartans will also play non-conference games at UNCW, Liberty, Robert Morris and Wake Forest.

“We have some really tough non-conference games that will provide us with a lot of challenges early on,” NSU women’s coach Larry Vickers said. “Geographically, this is about the best schedule we could have put together. We tried to put together a schedule where we are able to make some day trips and sleep in our own beds.”

The games against Richmond and William & Mary will start at 2 p.m., while the contest against Salem College will begin at 4 p.m.

Both the men’s and women’s teams could add non-conference games.

David Hall, 757-446-2367, david.hall@pilotonline.com

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