TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Norfolk State, behind the hot hand of Tony Murphy forged a 10-point halftime lead and made it stick through the second half, to take a 77-66 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference men's basketball game from Florida A&M in Gaither Gymnasium Monday evening.
Norfolk State (12-10, 8-2 in MEAC) used the 22-point first-half performance of their junior guard to build a 45-35 halftime lead.
Murphy, who finished with a game-high 26 points Monday, knocked down four three-pointers in seven tries and managed to hit eight of 15 floor shots in the opening half, overcoming single-handedly the Rattlers' 51.4 percent team shooting effort.
In the second half, Norfolk managed to hold off FAMU, 32-31 as both clubs shot below 50 percent (45.2 for Norfolk; 33.3 for FAMU), essentially making their halftime lead stand up.
Behind Murphy's game-high 26 points for Norfolk State, came Brandon Monroe's 14-point, seven rebound effort and 13 points from Michael Deloach. Murphy finished with a team-high nine rebounds.
The Rattlers got 21 points from Leslie Robinson and a double-double, 12 points and 10 rebounds from Akini F. Akini. Byron Taylor and Lamar Twitty each finished with nine points, while Larry Jackson added eight points.
FAMU (8-15, 4-6 in MEAC) dropped their third straight conference game, placing them in must-win mode for a favorable conference tournament seed with just six games remaining in league play.
WHAT'S NEXT: FAMU will close out their four-game conference home-stand next weekend, as they host league-leading Morgan State (4:00) next Saturday and Coppin State (7:30) next Monday.