Short, Gaston lead Norfolk St. past Hampton, 80-69; Spartans clinch No. 2 seed in MEAC tourney

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    HAMPTON, Virginia — Rashid Gaston had 22 points and 12 rebounds, and Jeffrey Short scored 26 to help Norfolk State beat Hampton 80-69 on Thursday night and clinch the No. 2 seed in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament, which begins Monday.

    Zaynah Robinson added 13 points for Norfolk State (19-12, 12-4), which made 16 of 27 (59.3 percent) field goals after halftime and earned a first-round bye in the conference tournament.

    Dwight Meikle had 24 points for Hampton (12-17, 8-8), which will be the No. 6 seed. Deron Powers scored 10, giving him 1,005 career points.

    Hampton committed nine first-half turnovers as the Spartans took a 36-29 lead into the break.

    Gaston scored six straight for Norfolk State during a 10-2 run which pushed its lead to 10 with 8:47 left and the Spartans made 9 of 12 free throws in the final 1:19 to seal it.

    Short moved into fourth on the Norfolk State's Division I single-season scoring list with 599.

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