BARRE, Vt. – The Norwich University men's basketball team lost its fifth-straight game to open the season falling to Vermont Technical College 92-62 in the opening game of the Granite City Shootout at the Barre Auditorium on Friday evening.
Norwich (0-5) failed to crest 40 percent shooting from the floor and allowed Vermont Tech (6-2) to hit on over 54 percent of its shots, including 54.5 percent on its field goal attempts from beyond the arc. The Cadets also surrendered 24 points off of its 18 turnovers in the loss.
The Cadets kept pace with the Knights and even held a pair of leads in the very early going. A made jumper and a free throw by sophomore forward Donovan Lewis Jr. (Savannah, Ga.) set Norwich out to a 3-0 lead. After a three-pointer by the Knights, sophomore guard Caleb Casinas (Aiea, Hawaii) sank a jumper to give the Cadets a 5-3 advantage. After the teams traded baskets giving Vermont Tech an 11-8 lead, Norwich suffered through a period where its scoring opportunities were limited due to five turnovers and the Knights benefitted establishing a 33-14 edge at the 9:36 mark of the first half.
Despite 10 first-half points from junior forward Kyle Booth (Northfield, Vt.), the Cadets trailed 51-35 at the break. The Cadets shot a respectable 46.8 percent from the floor in the first half and outrebounded the Knights by a 21-14 margin, but their 11 turnovers in the opening stanza helped contribute to the scoring disparity.
Norwich's shooters endured an extended cold streak to start the second half hitting on just one of its first eight shots from the field. When freshman forward Jaydon Cousin (Savannah, Ga.) made a layup from a feed from classmate Benjamin Mitchell (Pooler, Ga.) at the 14:54 mark, the Cadets found themselves down 66-40. The Cadets were unable to cut the deficit any further throughout the game.
Booth led all Norwich players with 16 points off of 6-of-11 shooting from the floor and had a season-high nine rebounds to lead the team. Lewis Jr. collected 13 points and eight rebounds while Cousin was the only other Cadet in double-figure scoring with 11 points. Mitchell led the Cadet reserves with seven points and five assists in his first extended minutes of the season.
Norwich is back at it again tomorrow at the Barre Auditorium as it squares off against Castleton at 2 p.m.