NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich women's basketball program kicked off the 2017 Ed Hockenbury Classic on Friday evening, defeating Bay Path University in the first game of the tournament by a 73-30 final score. The second game saw Trinity College defeat the University of Maine at Fort Kent by a 74-54 final.
The Cadets utilized a 12-2 run to close out the first quarter and create some distance between themselves and the Wildcats that Bay Path was unable to make up. By halftime, NU had opened up a 32-17 lead as both teams headed to the locker room.
Bay Path felt the pressure of the Norwich defensive unit in the second half, as the Cadets held the Wildcats to a mere 13 points to win the half by a 41-13 margin. On the night, NU was able to hold Bay Path to only 21.6% (8-37) shooting while forcing 10 turnovers. The offensive unit fired on all cylinders as well, dominating in the paint to a 40-4 tune and converting 16 second-chance points, thanks in large part to a 38-21 rebounding advantage for the Cadets.
Junior Emily Oliver (Sagamore Hills, Ohio) had herself a night, racking up a career-high 18 points thanks to 4 bombs from behind the 3-point line. She also chipped in 6 rebounds and 2 steals to round out her night. Senior Shyann Josler (Thetford Center, Vt.) orchestrated the Cadets' offensive success tonight with a game-high 7 assists, as well as 2 rebounds and 4 points. Freshman Maria Draper (Laconia, N.H.) had an efficient night in the paint, going a perfect 3-3 from the field for 6 points while pulling down a team-leading 7 rebounds.
Game two of the evening had the University of Maine at Fort Kent Bengals taking on defending Hockenbury Classic champion Trinity (Conn.) College. The Bantams were able to pull away in the second half to take the game by a 74-54 final score, despite a persistent attack from the Bengals of Fort Kent. Peace Kabari led the way for the Bantams with 14 points and 9 rebounds, while Savana Jankowski did her best to lead the Bengals' rally attempts with a game-high 15 points on 66% (6-9) shooting.
All the action on Friday night sets up what is sure to be an exciting championship game on Saturday, with a rematch of last year's final between the Trinity College Bantams and the hosting Cadets. Last year the Bantams managed to best the Cadets by a 56-50 final score to take the title for the second consecutive year. Norwich will be looking to claim their first Hockenbury Classic title since 2014 at 3:00 pm tomorrow afternoon.
Bay Path College and the University of Maine at Fort Kent will face-off in the third-place game, set to start at 1:00 pm. Following the wrapup of the championship game, the Norwich men's basketball team will get their side of the tournament started with a 6:00 pm faceoff with Lesley University.