Men's Basketball: Norwich Slips Past RIT, 81-80, In Overtime
PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - Junior G Jaren Jeffcoat dropped in a team-high 21 points, and senior F Israel Guardado posted a career-high 18 points and career-best 15 rebounds to help the Norwich University men's basketball team to an 81-80 overtime victory over RIT in the Cardinal Classic third-place game Sunday afternoon.
Sophomore F Antonio Davis posted a double-double of his own with 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Cadets, who improve to 2-1 on the young season. Junior G/F Quincy Williams netted 10 points, including the game-clinching jumper with 18 seconds to play in the extra session.
RIT (0-2) was led by Scott Young, who scored a game-high 37 points. He drained 9-of-13 three-point field goal attempts, and knocked down huge shots for the Tigers all afternoon long. Anthony Terry added 17 points for RIT, while Brendan Harder chipped in 13.
Norwich trailed by 12 points early in the second half before using a 27-9 run over a 10-minute span to grab a six-point lead with less than five minutes to go. The Cadets then had to withstand a furious RIT rally just to get into overtime.
Jeffcoat opened the extra session with a jumper, but a basket by Harder tied the game at 77-77. A bucket by sophomore G Joshua Cabrera put the Cadets in front, 79-77, but a free throw by RIT's Darryl Anderson made it a 79-78 game. Williams then drained a jumper to extend Norwich's lead to 81-78 with 18 seconds remaining, and Harder hit a lay-up with one second left to account for the final margin.
Norwich trailed 39-34 at halftime, but five quick points by Jeffcoat pulled the Cadets to within 41-39 just a few moments into the stanza. A 12-2 run by RIT helped the Tigers open up their largest lead of the game (53-41) with 14:52 to play. Norwich responded with a 21-6 spurt to give the Cadets a 62-59 edge at the 8:36 mark. A three-pointer by Young knotted the score at 62-62, but the Cadets scored the next six points to take a 68-62 lead with 4:56 to play.
Three more triples by Young ignited an 11-3 RIT run that gave the Tigers a 73-71 advantage with 1:28 to play. A pair of free throws by Guardado tied the score at 71-71 with 55 seconds remaining. Young sank two free throws on the other end to put RIT back in front, 75-73, with 44 ticks left on the clock. Jeffcoat then drained a jumper to make it 75-all with 19 seconds to play in regulation. The Tigers had a chance to win the game on their final offensive possession, but they were unable to get a shot off, and the contest moved into overtime.
Jeffcoat sank a triple and nailed a jumper to help the Cadets jump out to a quick 5-0 lead. RIT pulled to within 7-6 after a pair of threes, but four quick points by Davis and a pair of free throws by Guardado gave Norwich a 13-6 advantage at the 16:23 mark.
Two three-pointers and a pair of lay-ups by Young fueled a 10-2 run that helped the Tigers take their first lead of the contest (16-15) at the 11:10 mark. The game see-sawed back and forth for the next several minutes, and the Cadets held a 28-25 lead with 6:31 to play in the first half. RIT used a 12-2 spurt over the next four minutes to take a 37-30 lead with 2:25 left, and the Tigers carried a 39-34 advantage into the intermission.
Norwich shot 47.3 percent (35-of-74) from the field, while RIT connected on just 40.8 percent (29-of-71) of its shots from the floor. The Cadets held a 47-29 rebounding edge in the contest. NU turned the ball over 20 times, while RIT made 16 miscues.
Guardado was named to the all-tournament team after averaging 18.0 ppg., and 11.0 rpg., in the two games.
Norwich return to action on Wednesday, Dec. 2, when the Cadets host Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) rival Rivier in the team's league and home opener at Andrews Hall. Tip-off for the contest is set for 7:30 p.m.