NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Competing in its first overtime game of the 2016-17 season, the Norwich University men's basketball team posted a 94-88 loss to Saint Joseph's (Maine) College on Saturday in Andrews Hall.
The Cadets fall to 7-14 overall on the year, picking up their 10th loss in Great Northeast Athletic Conference competition in 14 games played. The Monks, who never led during regulation time, used a strong overtime period to move to 12-11 overall and to 9-7 against league foes.
Norwich had five players reach double-digit point scoring totals, led by junior Ryan Booth (Northfield, Vt.) and his 18 points. Sophomore Daniel Haimes (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) poured home five three-point baskets, finishing with 17 points, and junior Darius Bryant (Calhoun Falls, S.C.) notched 16 points.
Junior Ryan Fitzgerald (Winchester, Mass.) and classmate Mike Hogervorst (Leiden, South Holland, Netherlands) scored 14 and 10 points, respectively, with Hogervorst leading his team with seven rebounds.
Norwich punished the Monks in the first 6:57 of the contest, opening up a 19-4 lead following a Bryant fast-break layup in the paint. That sizeable lead was short lived, however, as Marc Corey poured home a three-point basket for the Monks to cut the Norwich lead to 33-30 with 6:35 left in the first half.
The Cadets had a strong shooting effort in the first 20 minutes of action, shooting just under 50% from the floor (16-for-34), but the Monks poured home eight three-point baskets to cut down the Norwich advantage to only five points, 47-42, at halftime. The Saint Joseph's bench was responsible for 19 points in the first half alone.
Hogervorst made back-to-back free throws for Norwich shortly into the second half, re-establishing a 10-point lead with 15:49 to go in regulation time. A layup from Ryan Fitzgerald, who made a three-pointer on the last Cadets possession, built up a 63-52 lead shortly thereafter.
Over the next four minutes of action, the Cadets would fall into an offensive slump that would let the Monks back into the game. Despite a three-point basket by junior Tommy Fitzgerald (Williston, Vt.), Saint Joseph's scored five-straight points, capped off by a Corey fast-break layup to shrink the Norwich lead to 68-66 with 8:34 to go.
With the chance to tie the game at 68, the Monks' Quinn Richardson-Newton made only one of two free throws to keep the Cadets out in front. Booth would give the Cadets a five-point lead, 79-74, with 75 seconds left on the scoreboard in regulation time, but Corey would complete the three-point play with only one minute left on the scoreboard.
Ahead by only two, the Cadets missed a jumper down the stretch and put the ball back into the hands of the Monks. An offensive rebound by Saint Joseph's kept the possession alive before Richardson-Newton was fouled by Norwich with 19 seconds to go. The Monks then made both free throws, tying the game at 79.
Bryant appeared to have earned at least two free throws for the Cadets in the final five seconds, driving to the net, but a clean block by Richardson-Newton ricocheted off of Bryant to send the game into overtime despite a last-second heave by Ian Mileikis that came up well short of the basket.
Riding a wave of momentum after outscoring the Cadets by a 22-to-4 margin in the paint, the Monks earned their first lead of the entire game only 12 seconds into overtime following an Aaron Hall jumper. That made basket would lift Saint Joseph's into the lead for good, despite a Booth three-point basket that cut the Monks lead to one.
Norwich found itself outscored by a 15-to-9 margin in the five-minute overtime period and, ultimately, on the wrong end of a 94-88 score. The Monks finished with 38 points in the paint, scoring 26 points off of second-chance opportunities. Saint Joseph's also outrebounded the Cadets, 45-to-35, despite committing 14 turnovers in the contest.
Corey finished with 35 points to lead players from both teams – his six assists tied him with Mileikis for the team lead. Corey also completed the double-double, reeling in 10 rebounds with Richardson-Newton and Jae Johns tallying seven rebounds apiece.
The Cadets return to action Sunday, Feb. 12, taking on Johnson & Wales (R.I.) in a 2 p.m. tilt on the road.