HENNIKER, N.H. – The Norwich University men's basketball team slipped out of the gates and was unable to recover from an early deficit in a 99-64 non-conference loss to New England College on Wednesday evening.
New England (4-3) jumped out to an early 13-4 lead buoyed by the hot shooting of Jamal Allen who canned three triples in the run after being blocked by Cadets' junior forward Kyle Booth (Northfield, Vt.) on his first attempt.
A layup from sophomore guard Caleb Casinas (Aiea, Hawaii) brought the visitors to within 15-7, but the Pilgrims kept their foot on the gas pedal on offense hitting five more three-pointers in an improbable 29-8 run to grab a 44-15 lead with just over six minutes left in the half.
The Cadets then saw some life as they took a small 6-0 run to reduce the deficit to 44-21 but were unable to make further gains in reducing the gap. The Pilgrims eventually took a commanding 60-30 lead into halftime. Allen led the hosts with 23 first-half points nailing 7-of-10 from three while Booth led Norwich with seven points.
Norwich (1-6) played the Pilgrims fairly evenly in the second half, but NEC was able to use its large cushion to ride out the win.
Freshman forward Jaydon Cousin (Savannah, Ga.) scored 10 of his team-leading 13 points in the second half to help the Cadets put up 34 in the period. Junior guard Jesse Davis (Woodinville, Wash.) tied for the team lead in points with 13. Sophomore forward Donovan Lewis Jr. (Savannah, Ga.) led the Cadet reserves with eight points while Cousin and sophomore guard Spencer Conaster (Reno, Nevada) grabbed a team-high six boards.
The Cadets will return to the comfy confines of Andrews Gym this weekend to host the 28th annual Ed Hockenbury Classic. Norwich will open the tournament against the University of Maine-Augusta on Saturday at 6 p.m.