Men's Basketball: Norwich Cruises Past Rivier, 71-46, In GNAC Opener
NORTHFIELD, Vt. - Junior G/F Jaren Jeffcoat scored a game-high 17 points and freshman G Ryan Williams netted 15 points as the Norwich University men's basketball team opened Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) play with a 71-46 victory over Rivier College Wednesday evening at Andrews Hall.
Senior F Israel Guardado added 13 points and sophomore F Antonio Davis chipped in eight points, a game-high 16 rebounds and a game-best four assists for the Cadets, who outrebounded the Raiders by a 51-36 margin. Junior G/F Quincy Williams contributed nine points and six boards off the bench for Norwich (3-1, 1-0 GNAC).
Rivier (1-3, 0-1 GNAC) was led by Joe Granato, who scored a team-high 11 points and pulled down six rebounds. Luke Brownell pitched in nine points and six boards off the bench for the Raiders, who shot just 31.0 percent (18-of-58) from the field in the game.
The game see-sawed back and forth over the first seven minutes with Rivier clinging to a 9-6 lead at the 13:01 mark. Three free throws by Jeffcoat and then back-to-back three-pointers by Jeffcoat and Ryan Williams gave Norwich a 15-9 advantage just moments later. The Cadets extended their lead to as many as 10 points in the first half before settling for a 33-24 edge at the intermission.
Jeffcoat paced all scorers in the opening 20 minutes with 12 points. Granato netted 10 points for Rivier in the first half.
Rivier cut Norwich's lead to 35-27 early in the second half, but a 19-2 run by the Cadets gave the hosts a comfortable 54-29 advantage at the 11:18 mark. Jeffcoat and Ryan Williams combined for eight points during the spurt, which effectively put the game away. The Raiders got no closer than 20 points the rest of the way, as the Cadets coasted to the victory.
Norwich converted its 19 offensive rebounds into 18 second-chance points. The Cadets scored 32 points in the paint, compared to just 16 for the Raiders. NU hit 7-of-19 three-pointers, led by Ryan Williams' 4-of-6 performance. Rivier made just 5-of-23 from behind the three-point arc.
Norwich will conclude its brief three-game homestand this weekend (Dec. 5-6), when the Cades host the Ed Hockenbury Classic at Andrews Hall. NU will face St. Joseph's (Vt.) in the first game of the tournament on Saturday, Dec. 5, at 6 p.m. The second semifinal matchup features Wesleyan and Green Mountain College. The third-place game will be played at 1 p.m., on Sunday, Dec. 6, with the championship game to follow.