Norfolk St. beats Howard for MEAC title behind Wheeler's double-double

NORFOLK, Va. -- Kierra Wheeler scored 20 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, and top-seeded Norfolk State pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat second-seeded Howard 51-46 on Saturday in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament championship.

It was the second consecutive title for Norfolk State (27-5), which has won 15 straight since its 73-60 loss against Howard on Jan. 20.

Kaiya Creek's 3-pointer gave Howard a 41-37 lead with 6:53 to play. Wheeler scored the next five points and Diamond Johnson hit a 3-pointer and Norfolk State led 45-41 with 4:23 left. Howard pulled to 47-46 with 1:27 remaining before the Spartans sealed it from the free throw line. Wheeler scored nine points in the fourth.

Wheeler was 9-of-21 shooting. Johnson, who set a tournament record with 30 points in the Spartans' 73-44 semifinal win against Coppin State, made a pair of 3s and finished with 12 points against the Bison.

Iyanna Warren scored 19 points on 6-of-17 shooting to lead Howard (15-16). Creek finished with eight points and six rebounds. Marissa Steel grabbed 10 rebounds but missed two field goal attempts and didn't score.