NEW HAVEN, CONN. - The Norwich University men's basketball team took a nine-point lead into halftime but had no answer for the Albertus Magnus College offense in the second half as the Cadets suffered a 103-77 setback on Saturday afternoon at The Nest inside the Cosgrove Marcus Messer Athletic Center.
In a game where Norwich (5-18, 1-8 GNAC) posted better shooting percentages from the field, from beyond the arc, and from the free-throw line, that unfortunately didn't tell the whole story. Albertus Magnus (18-4, 7-2 GNAC) owned a 15-rebound advantage and took advantage of 25 Cadet turnovers for 30 points while getting high-quality looks from inside the paint and on the fast break.
The Cadets slipped coming out of the gates giving up a 9-3 run in the first two minutes of the game but four three-pointers, including a trio of long-range bombs by senior forward Dan Bertrand (Saugus, Mass.) got the visitors back in the game trailing by just two at 17-15.
Junior guard Kyle Booth (Northfield, Vt.) then caught fire for Cadets scoring seven-straight points to put Norwich on top 24-23.
A 6-0 run capped by two of sophomore guard Caleb Casinas' (Aiea, Hawaii) 13 free throws gave the Cadets an 11-point lead at 42-31 with 3:29 to go and the visitors were able to maintain that lead through to the break entering the locker room up 47-38.
Booth was nearly unstoppable in the first half scoring 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting while registering three steals to help ignite the transition offense. Bertrand notched 11 first-half points making 4-of-5 of his attempts from the field.
As good as that pair was in the first half, Albertus Magnus found a way to silence them in the second stanza keeping both players off the scoring ledger.
The Falcons came out of the half a different team scoring 65 points to Norwich's 30 as the hosts hit their shots at a 52.3 percent clip while almost doubling the Cadets in field goal attempts.
Norwich failed to score in the first 4:46 of the second half while Albertus Magnus recaptured its lead 55-47 thanks to a 17-0 run.
After the teams traded baskets, the Falcons extended their lead to 22 points with another 15-0 run.
Senior guard Connor Miller (Sydney, Australia) made a jumper to pull the Cadets within 16 at 78-62 with 6:38 remaining but that would be as close as Norwich would get.
Casinas topped the Cadets in scoring with 26 points thanks in large part to his career-high 13 free throws. He also dished out five assists to tie for the game-high. Booth was a part of three other players to score in double figures with his 16 points in addition to his four assists, four steals, and two blocks. Bertrand notched 11 points on a career-best three makes from downtown while sophomore forward Donovan Lewis Jr. (Savannah, Ga.) added 13 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season.
Norwich will play in its next to last conference game of the year on Tuesday when it hits the road to face Rivier at 7 p.m.