NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — RJ Cole had a season-high 36 points as Howard narrowly defeated Norfolk State 98-95 on Thursday night.

Cole hit 7 of 10 3-pointers and shot 9 for 11 from the foul line. He added seven assists.

Charles Williams had 27 points for Howard (16-15, 10-6 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference), which won its fourth consecutive game. Kyle Foster added 15 points.

Howard posted a season-high 15 3-pointers.

Nic Thomas had 20 points and six rebounds for the Spartans (19-12, 14-2), whose six-game winning streak ended with the loss. Mastadi Pitt added 20 points and 10 assists. Alex Long had 18 points.

The Bison evened the season series against the Spartans with the win. Norfolk State defeated Howard 80-78 on Feb. 2.

Norfolk State was already assured of the top seed in the conference tournament and will play on Wednesday against the winner of Tuesday's No. 8 vs No. 9 game. Howard climbed into a tie for third place with North Carolina Central. Both those teams will open the MEAC tournament on Thursday. Norfolk State is the tournament host.

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Elements of this were generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.com