NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The long-awaited battle between conference-rivals Norwich and Rivier was finally played in Andrews Hall on Thursday night, with the Cadets overcoming the Raiders, 75-66. This advanced the Norwich to their third GNAC win in as many games, as they now sit 8-7 overall and 4-4 in the conference.
For the Cadets, junior Antonio Davis returned to double-double status, recording 13 points and 10 rebounds on the night. He was 5-of-9 for shooting, sinking two free throws and one 3-pointer. Davis also contributed two steals, a block and was credited with one assist.
Sophomore Ryan Williams netted the team-high 15 points, shooting 4-of-11 with five free-throws and two 3-pointers. The guard made three steals on the Raiders and earned two assists, while junior captain Josh Cabrera tallied three assists in the action.
The Raiders were led by senior Nick Bean with 17 points, eight boards and three steals, as well as sophomore Cliff Celestin, who contributed 15 points and five assists. Bean sank a game-high four 3-pointers, while Celestin netted two 3-pointers and was 5-of-9 in shooting.
It was a one-point game going into halftime, as a layup by senior Quincy Williams gave Norwich a 36-35 edge just before the buzzer. The lead changed on six occasions, as the Raiders and the Cadets battled for the ball and tried to control the pace of the game.
At the start of the second half, Rivier was quick to jump back into the lead, as they pulled ahead by five points in the fourth minute of play. Two back-to-back three pointers by Williams and Boston earned Norwich a 42-41 advantage in the sixth minute. With the exception of senior Don Poitras tying the game with a layup in the eighth minute of the half, the Cadets held on to their advantage until the buzzer sounded the end of regulation time.
The Cadets remain at home on Saturday, playing host to Mount Ida College for a 3 p.m. conference game. That action will follow the women’s GNAC showdown against Pine Manor, scheduled for 1 p.m.