Courtesy Norwich Sports Information
PAXTON, Mass. – Leading by eight at the half, the Norwich University men’s basketball team came up short in holding off the Anna Maria College AMCATS’ strong second half performance in the 84-73 decision on Tuesday night in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) play.
With the loss, the Cadets fall to 0-2 in the league and 1-5 overall, while the AMCATS picked up their first conference win of the year and are now 4-2 on the year.
Sophomore center Mike Hogervorst (Leiden, Netherlands) posted a team-high 27 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double, while classmate Ryan Booth (Northfield, Vt.) added 11 points and seven rebounds with three steals and four assists on the night. Sophomore guard Ryan Fitzgerald (Winchester, Mass.) contributed 13 points, while senior guard Jimmy Warden (North Andover, Mass.) collected seven points, three rebounds and an assist off the bench.
For Anna Maria, senior guard Corey Pryor (Northbridge, Mass.) led the team with 19 points off the bench, while Patrick Bradanese (Billerica, Mass.) contributed 16 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals on the night. Junior David Jean-Louis (Miramar, Fla.) added 15 points to go along with a rebound, an assist and a steal, while senior forward Kyle McKissick (Charlton, Mass.) put up seven points and eight rebounds with three assists.
An Anna Maria layup gave the AMCATS’ its first and only lead of the first half as Norwich scored four points in the next four minutes before a Hogervorst layup made it 6-2. The AMCATS responded with a trey before the Cadets piled on the points, swelling the lead to eight at the 12:08 mark for the 19-11 score.
Anna Maria contested Norwich on every basket, but the Cadets shot 55.2 percent from the field to lead by as much as 12 points throughout the stanza. The AMCATS, who shot 31.4 percent in the first half, would trim the deficit to just six points before fouling Norwich’s Joe Bertrand, who would convert the free throw for the Cadets’ 44-36 lead at the break.
The AMCATS attacked quickly with Jean-Louis putting up a pair of baskets to cut the margin to four points in the first two minutes of the second half. Norwich responded with a layup of its own before McKissick nailed a long bomb followed by Jean-Louis’ jumper and a three-pointer to knot the game at 48 points apiece.
The Cadets would break the tie with a 16-4 run in the next three minutes for the 63-55 lead with 10:40 to play before the AMCATS responded with run of their own that saw two treys go through the basket to tie it up at 67 at the seven minute mark.
Norwich struggled at containing Anna Maria’s hot streak, hitting 57.1 percent from the floor and 46.2 percent from the three-point line in the second half, down the stretch as the AMCATS closed out the game with a 17-6 run for the 84-73 victory.
Anna Maria shot just 31.4 percent from the field in the first half, but improved its shooting accuracy in the second stanza to finish the game with a 44.3 shooting percentage. Norwich shot just 40 percent from the floor in the second half, despite a strong first half performance to finish with a shooting percentage of 47.3.
The AMCATS would also score 22 points to the Cadets’ nine off of turnovers and score 11 points on second chances with a slight advantage over the Cadets on the boards, 36-35.
Anna Maria will look to make it 2-0 in league play when it takes on Rivier University on Thursday, Dec. 3 for the 7:00 p.m. tip-off. Norwich will return to action on Saturday, Dec. 4 against UMaine-Augusta in the first round of its annual Ed Hockenbury Classic. Tip-off is slated for 6:00 p.m.