NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University men's basketball team kept pace with visiting Lasell University for three-quarters of the game, but let the Lasers escape with a 90-77 victory in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) action on Tuesday evening at Andrews Gym.
Norwich (3-13, 0-3 GNAC) held a brief edge for the start of the first half as Kyle Booth's (Northfield, Vt.) three-pointer at the 16:38 mark pushed the Cadets ahead 7-4. After a jumper from Booth made it 9-7 Cadets, the visitors proceeded to go on a 14-3 run over the next four and a half minutes, capped by a trey from Keith Poitier to swing the momentum in their favor and take a 21-12 lead.
The Cadets answered that run with a run of their own as a Benjamin Mitchell (Poole, Ga.) layup at the 8:43 mark punctuated a 6-0 run to get the hosts to within 21-18.
After trading buckets down the stretch, the Lasers began to pull away once again extending their lead to 41-28 with 1:52 remaining.
A tough layup from Mitchell ignited a late 8-0 run which included makes from beyond the arc from Booth and Dan Bertrand (Saugus, Mass.) to make it 41-36. However, the Laser's Eric Day drilled a triple as the buzzer sounded to send Lasell into the locker room with a 44-36 lead at the break.
The visitors lead fluctuated between five and nine points for the first six minutes of the second half before Norwich was able to further cut into the deficit. Another three-pointer from Booth at the 14:10 mark brought the Cadets to within 54-52.
Unfortunately, that was as close as the Cadets would get as their offense sputtered down the stretch and the Lasers converted 14-of-15 free throws from that point forward to seal the victory.
The teams were evenly matched across most major stats. The Cadets held a slight edge in bench points as their reserves outscored Lasell's 24-18 and the hosts used the fast break to their advantage scoring 9 points in the open court. Lasell outworked the hosts on the boards collecting 39 caroms to the Cadets' 32.
The major discrepancy that favored the Lasers came at the free-throw line as they hit 20-of-27 (74.1 %) freebies compared to just 7-of-11 (63.6%) makes from the charity stripe for the Cadets.
Booth led the team with 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting, including a 4-for-6 mark from deep. The GNAC's leading man in blocks added three more to his season total. Donovan Lewis Jr. (Savannah, Ga.) played well down on the block registering 13 points and a team-leading seven rebounds. Samuel-Noah Osarenkhoe (Stockholm, Sweden) also scored in double-digits as a starter contributing 11 points. Mitchell came off the bench to lead the reserves with a career-high 12 points.
Norwich will venture down to Massachusetts this weekend to face Emmanuel in more conference play. Tip-off is slated for 1:00 p.m.