NORTHFIELD, Vt. - Jaren Jeffcoat scored a team-high 18 points, and Jerrold Williams scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half as the Norwich men's basketball team overcame a 14-point first half deficit to defeat Emmanuel, 66-63, on Tuesday evening at Andrews Hall.
Cody Hatt came off the bench and provided an offensive spark in the first half for Norwich (6-5, 2-3 GNAC), scoring all 13 of his points in the opening stanza. Derrick Montiero contributed six points and a game-high six assists for the Cadets, who have won two straight league games after opening the conference slate with three consecutive losses.
Norwich trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half, but the Cadets battled back to within three points at halftime. Emmanuel opened the second half on a 17-9 run to extend its lead to 11 points midway at 50-39 with 10:55 to play. Norwich answered by reeling off 11 unanswered points over the next 2:33 to knot the game at 50-50 at the 8:22 mark. Jeffcoat and Williams combined to score all 11 of the Cadets points during the spurt as NU forged the first tie of the game.
The game was tied again at 53-all when Williams gave NU its first lead of the night with a pair of free throws, with 5:11 to play in the contest. Emmanuel tied the score at 55-55 moments later, but a Jeffcoat lay-up gave Norwich a 57-55 lead with 4:27 left in regulation and the Cadets never trailed again.
Norwich eventually built its largest lead of the night at 64-58 with 1:19 showing on the game clock, but Emmanuel closed to within one point at 64-63 with 16 seconds remaining. The Cadets made just enough free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
Emmanuel (6-5, 5-1 GNAC) came out of the gates on fire, outscoring Norwich, 17-3, over the game's first 6:31. Rob Williams-Hinton tallied six of the Saints' points during the game-opening surge that gave the visitors a 14-point lead at the 13:29 mark.
Norwich responded by scoring the next six points as the Cadets pulled to within 17-9 at the 11:09 mark. A 10-4 Emmanuel spurt increased the Saints' lead to 27-13 with 6:19 to play before halftime. Norwich reeled off a 17-6 run to end the first stanza, as the Cadets closed to within 33-30 at the intermission.
Hatt sparked the Norwich offense off the bench in the first half as the senior guard led all scorers in the opening 20 minutes with 13 points on 5-of-5 shooting. Hatt was especially lethal from long range, connecting on all three of his three-point attempts.
Emmanuel was led by Williams-Hinton, who scored a game-high 21 points. Mack Spellman chipped in 16 points and 17 rebounds for the Saints.
Norwich returns to the court on Thursday, Jan. 17, when the Cadets travel to Nashua, N.H., to take on Rivier. The GNAC contest is slated to begin at 7 p.m.