NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The men’s basketball team entered Thursday night’s game ranked fourth in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference, hosting the third-ranked Albertus Magnus College in Andrews Hall. In a full-out 40 minute battle, the Falcons managed to slip past the Cadets in the final minutes of action, 75-72.
The Falcons (15-9, 13-4 GNAC) were fueled by their leading scorer, junior Ray Askew, who netted 25 points and 13 boards to record a double-double on the night. He made one steal, one block, and tallied three assists while shooting 7-of-15 from the field.
Senior Walden St. Juste proved to be another threat as he made five steals and two assists, collecting 12 points while sophomore Mike Massey sank four baskets and six foul shots to tally his 14 points on the night.
Senior Jaren Jeffcoat played a valuable role for the Cadets (15-9, 11-6 GNAC) in the conference battle, making 24 points and five assists. He was 9-of-16 in shooting, sinking all four foul shots and two key trifectas.
Junior Josh Cabrera netted three treys and finished with 11 points, while making two steals and one assist. Classmate Antonio Davis came up with 10 points, while freshman Pim Smulders led the Cadets in rebounding with seven.
The Falcons jumped to an early lead and were up 6-0 in the first few minutes of action. After Davis hit two jumpers, junior Darell Marshall tied it at 6-all on a layup.
On the next three plays, the lead was swapped and the Falcons remained ahead. Norwich was able to regain control with five and a half minutes remaining in the half when Jeffcoat netted his first trey of the night, putting the Cadets up 23-22. They were able to hold the lead and went into the halftime with a 37-31 advantage.
The second half of the game was an even closer battle, as the conference rivals fought for control and an energized crowd saw the scoreboard tied on six occasions.
Freshman Chris Cagle put Albertus Magnus up 44-43 on a 3-pointer six minutes into the second half and the Falcons controlled the momentum until Smulders tipped one in for the Cadets minutes later for the one-point advantage of 55-54.
Throughout the next four minutes of action, a standing crowd saw the score tied up five times. Freshman Alex Myers swiftly went in for a layup to put Norwich up 61-60 with 6:22 on the clock.
A trifecta by Falcons’ sophomore Arshad Jackson took away the last lead the Cadets would hold in the game, and although the score was tied up twice more, Albertus Magnus held on to their advantage.
With less than a second on the clock, Jeffcoat netted his second trey to make it a three-point game, but the Cadets’ comeback was too late and the buzzer sounded as soon as the ball was back in play.
Norwich will hit the road for their final game of the regular season on Saturday, heading to Emerson College for a GNAC-twinbill against the Lions. The men’s team will play at 12 p.m., followed by the women’s action at 2 p.m.