Quick Facts about Norfolk State:
Location: Norfolk, VA
Colors: Green and Gold
Head Coach: Robert Jones
Last Matchup versus Baylor: 86-58 loss to the Bears in 2009
Last NCAA Tournament Appearance: 2012 (Round of 32)
December 30, 2014 (7:00 PM CT, FSSW-Plus)
Baylor Football is not the only team to take on a team full of Spartans this week, as Scott Drew welcomes the Norfolk State Spartans into the Ferrell Center tonight to take on his 22 ranked Baylor Basketball squad.
Baylor is coming off of a scare against Southern, where it only won by four points, and will be looking to make a statement to end the nonconference season with a mark of 11-1. The Bears, still undefeated at home this season, will look to stop junior guard Jeffrey Short, a well-sized transfer from Fordham who is putting up almost 20 points per game and knocks down 43% of his long-range attempts. Complementing Short, RaShid Gaston works down low in a frame similar to Rico Gathers. Gaston, who is averaging a near double double (15.3-9.8), is a force on the defensive end, grabbing boards and contesting all shots around the rim. He recently won the MEAC Defensive Player of the Week thanks to his performance against U. Va.-Wise and Northern Arizona.
Size-wise, however, the Bears matchup nicely, as the only seven-footer for Spartans plays less than six minutes per game. Expect to see Gathers battle down low against Gaston, freeing up Jonathan Motley on the offensive end of the floor. The defense for the Spartans is nothing to celebrate, as they allow their opponents to hit almost 41% of their field goals, and 45% of twos. They do, however, apply full court pressure in a similar fashion to Southern, so the Bears will have to ensure that their passing is crisp and turnovers are limited, so as not to give Norfolk State easy buckets in transition.
Players to Watch:
Norfolk State – RaShid Gaston
Baylor – Jonathan Motley
Final Score: Norfolk State – 62 Baylor – 74