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Norfolk State defeats St. Francis (NY) 85-79


NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Rob Johnson and Jamel Fuentes scored 18 points apiece to bring Norfolk State back from a nine-point second-half deficit and beat St. Francis (N.Y.) 85-79 on Thursday night.

Brandon Goode had 13 points, Kris Brown 12 and Malcolm Hawkins 10 for Norfolk State (3-5), the defending Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion, in its home opener.

Jalen Cannon had 16 points and nine rebounds, Akeem Johnson scored 15 and Ben Mockford 13 for St. Francis (2-3).

St. Francis led 54-45 on Cannon's layup 5:45 into the second half, but Norfolk State closed to 66-63 on Johnson's 3-pointer with 8:15 remaining.

The Spartans took a 67-66 lead on Johnson's two free throws. They pushed it to 73-70 on Fuentes' layup at 4:29 and 78-70 on Malcolm Hawkins's three-point play at 2:52. Brent Jones' 3-pointer pulled the Terriers to 83-79 with 23 seconds left, but they came no closer.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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