Also scoring in double figures for the Eagles (22-14) was Raven Lee who tallied 12 points in the victory.
The Spartans (19-15) were paced by Malcolm Hawkins who scored 16 points and pulled down seven rebounds in the setback, followed by Brandon Goode with 12 points. Pendarvis Williams and RaShid Gaston both tacked on eight points, the latter clearing a game-high 12 rebounds.
Norfolk State led by as many as five in the first half, thanks in part to a 5- of-12 showing behind the 3-point line, although the squad did convert just 1- of-4 at the charity stripe during the period. The Eagles connected on just 38.5 percent from the floor, but of their 10 field goals, six arrived from 3- point range. It also didn't hurt that EMU was a perfect 5-of-5 at the free- throw line, en route to the 31-30 advantage at the break.
In the second half Norfolk State made a total of just eight field goals, not enough to overtake the hosts down the stretch.
The Eagles, who scored 18 points off 17 turnovers on the night, now head to the second round of the tournament later this week against an opponent to be determined.