NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich men’s basketball team currently stands with a 3-4 overall record, having only played one league game against a Great Northeast Athletic Conference rival, Lasell. The Cadets welcomed eight new players to their roster this winter and looked forward to the return of point-leaders Cori Boston, Jaren Jeffcoat, Antonio Davis, and Ryan Williams – all of whom remain at the top of the statistics this year.
The Cadets started their season with their November games on the road, traveling to Southern Vermont at the start of the 2010-11 schedule and facing a 82-77 loss.
The team then went to Western New England for the Golden Bears Classic, where NU took third place. After a 77-50 loss to Trinity in game one the Cadets overcome the host college by a basket in the consolation round, 76-74.
It was then Norwich’s turn to host a tournament and the Cadets opened their home-court schedule with the 14th Annual Ed Hockenbury Classic. The momentum stayed with the Cadets as they put away the University of Maine – Augusta by a 90-54 final and went on to defeat their Colby-Sawyer rivals in the championship game, 71-60.
Riding a three-game winning streak, the Cadets hosted a dominant WestConn State and proved they could rise to the challenge of any opponent. With a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Boston, Norwich forced the Colonials into overtime, where the Cadets were eventually defeated 87-82.
Norwich wrapped up their 2010 schedule with a conference game in Andrews Hall against the Lasell Lasers. Once again, the Cadets stayed right in the game with their opponents, but were edged by three points in the final outcome, 82-79.
Leading the pack with a 12.1 points-per-game average is sophomore guard Ryan Williams. Williams has found success in shooting outside the paint, as he has recorded 17 3-pointers to-date. He has made just as many field-goals as rebounds, tallying 31 baskets and 31 boards and leads the team in assists with 24.
Junior forward Antonio Davis has started all seven games, and sits in second with 83 points on the season. Averaging 11.9 points-per-game, Davis leads the Cadets with 59 boards and a .607 free-throw percentage. He has accumulated eight assists and has made nine steals and seven blocks.
Senior Cori Boston is welcomed back to the squad after a preview of his skills in the second half of last year’s season. As both a guard and a forward, Boston is tied with Davis for 11.9 points-per-game. While Boston’s free-throw percentage is .625-percent, he averages 3.3 rebounds-per-game. He has made three steals and six blocks and currently holds 11 assists.
Jaren Jeffcoat, the Cadets senior guard, has started all seven games this season and owns 80 points so far. He, like Boston and Davis alike, has made 33 baskets at this point in the season and has stepped up with 34 boards; 22 of them defensive. Jeffcoat has 13 assists, one block and eight steals to go along with his 11.4 points-per-game average.
Rounding out the top-five athletes who are averaging double-figures for the Cadets, junior captain and guard Josh Cabrera has been on the court for tip-off in all seven games and has seen over 184 minutes of playing time this season. With a .867 free-throw percentage, Cabrera proves to be dangerous from the line, although his ten 3-pointers also make him a threat on the outside. He has made 12 boards to-date and is second on the team for assists with 21. Adding 10 steals to the mix, Cabrera has stepped up and is leading his team by example.
The Cadets ring in the New Year with three road games to open the new 2011 calendar. Norwich will play a non-conference game against Skidmore on Jan. 5, followed by two GNAC contests on Jan. 8 at Albertus Magnus and Jan. 11 at Saint Joseph’s (Maine).
Norwich will play their next home game on Jan. 13, going up against Suffolk in a conference game in Andrews Hall at 7 p.m.