NORTHFIELD, Vt. - Jaren Jeffcoat scored 10 of his career-high 27 points in the final five minutes of the second half to help lead Norwich past Emerson, 90-77, in a GNAC men's basketball game Saturday afternoon at Andrews Hall. Jeffcoat, who provided an enormous lift off the bench, also posted a career-high 10 rebounds for his first-ever double-double.
Jerrold Williams added 19 points, and Jamel Bedford notched his sixth double-double of year with 17 points and 14 rebounds as the Cadets snapped a four-game losing streak and improve to 5-5 (1-3 GNAC). Mike Filipek chipped in 10 points, while Derrick Montiero contributed eight points and team-high five assists.
Emerson, which was dealt its first loss of the 2007-08 campaign, falls to 9-1 (3-1 GNAC). The Lions were led by Jeremy Shannon and Will Dawkins, who both scored 20 points apiece. Ben Chase added 17 points for Emerson.
The Lions came out on fire, hitting on its first six field goal attempts to take a 15-6 lead at the 15:17 mark. Norwich came storming back with a 24-5 run over the next 11 minutes to assume a 30-20 advantage with 4:35 to play on the first half clock. The Cadets, who would never trail again in the game, held the Lions to 1-of-12 shooting during the spurt.
Norwich never let Emerson get any closer than seven points the rest of the half, and the Cadets took a 38-29 lead into the locker room.
Jeffcoat sparked the Cadets' offense off the bench in the opening stanza, 11 points and grabbing five rebounds. Williams netted 12 points in the first 20 minutes, while Bedford chipped in nine points and nine rebounds in the frame.
Norwich held a commanding 24-6 rebounding margin in the first half, including a 12-1 edge on the offensive glass. The Cadets shot a blistering 50.0 percent from the field in the first half.
Emerson opened the second half on a 7-4 spurt to pull to within six points at 42-36 at the 16:18 mark. Back-to-back three-pointers by Tim Fico doubled the Cadets' lead, putting NU on top 48-36 just 73 seconds later.
Norwich maintained a lead of at least nine points over the next 10 minutes, but a double-digit lead over the next several minutes before Emerson used cut the lead down to five points at 73-68 with 2:57 to play. That was as close as the Lions would get, though, as Norwich converted 7-of-8 free throws in the final 1:05 to preserve the victory.
Norwich shot a blistering 54.8 percent from the field for the game, and the Cadets held a dominant 47-16 rebounding edge.
Norwich concludes its three-game homestand on Tuesday, Jan. 15, when the Cadets host Emmanuel at Andrews Hall. The GNAC contest is slated to tip-off at 7 p.m.