BARRE, Vt. – The Norwich University men's basketball team shot 50 percent from the field and outrebounded Castleton University 42-25 to earn its first victory of the season in its 70-48 win over the Spartans in the second game of the Granite City Shootout at the Barre Auditorium on Saturday afternoon.
In addition to its hot shooting, the Norwich defense was able to hold the Castleton offense under 40 percent from the field. The Cadets doubled up the Spartans in the paint outscoring them 40-20 and enjoyed a 31-18 scoring advantage from its reserves.
After falling behind 11-4 in the opening six minutes of action, the offense began clicking attacking the Castleton zone defense with inside out passes and cuts the basket which resulted in easy buckets.
Norwich managed to knot the game at 24-24 at the 5:58 mark following a three-pointer from senior forward Dan Bertrand (Saugus, Mass.) then took its first lead of the game moments later when Bertrand repeated from beyond the arc giving the Cadets a 27-24. The lead would not be relinquished as the Cadets continued to get quality looks on offense and played stout defensively challenging every Castleton shot.
The Cadets closed the half on an 11-3 run, which included five points from junior guard Jesse Davis (Woodinville, Wash.), to take a commanding 38-28 lead into halftime. Junior forward Kyle Booth (Northfield, Vt.) was a catalyst on offense registering 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting and dishing out four assists.
There was no let-up in the second half from the Cadets who continued to extend their lead throughout the second period leading by as many as 24 with several minutes left in the game. The defense held Castleton to just 28 percent shooting from the field while amassing 32 points on offense. Freshman forward Jaydon Cousin (Savannah, Ga.) proved a tough cover for the Spartans as he recorded 10 points most of which came down on the block with his back to the basket. Classmate Benjamin Mitchell (Poole, Ga.) made the most of his first start of the season notching 10 second-half points including a pair of three-pointers.
Norwich had four players score double-digit points in the win with Cousin leading the way off the bench with 15 points. Booth tallied 12 points and seven assists to lead the starters. Davis and Mitchell scored 11 and 10 points, respectively. Bertrand led the team with a career-high 12 rebounds in addition to his eight points, five assists, and three steals.
Norwich will take a brief hiatus from action on the hardcourt over the Thanksgiving break. The Cadets will return from break to play at New England College on Wednesday, December 4 at 6 p.m.