NASHUA, N.H. – In a game that had originally been set for Dec. 12, the Cadets finally loaded the bus to head to Rivier College’s Muldoon Fitness Center on Thursday night, where Norwich defeated the Raiders 79-67, never giving their hosts a chance to be in the lead. When these two GNAC rivals faced each other in Northfield just a few weeks ago, the Cadets were again victorious, 75-66.
The Cadets (12-8, 8-5 GNAC) are showing consistency in their leadership on the court, as senior Jaren Jeffcoat and juniors Josh Cabrera and Antonio Davis continue to be key contributors to Norwich’s current success. Jeffcoat netted 14 points, while Cabrera and Davis scored 10 apiece.
Sophomore Ryan Williams sank the team-high 16 points, but it was freshman Pim Smulders who stepped up against the Raiders to earn his first collegiate double-double, recording 12 points and 10 boards.
The Cadets were clearly the dominant team in tonight’s game. Six seconds after tipoff, Rivier’s Don Poitras missed a jumper, which would prove to be the only chance the Raiders would have at gaining an edge on their opponents. Seven seconds later, on Norwich’s next possession, Williams sank a trifecta and it was game, set, match. The Cadets never surrendered their lead for the rest of the game, controlling the momentum of the play and shutting down the Raiders.
Norwich held a 44-31 advantage at the half, and continued to hold a double-digit spread on their opponents. While the Raiders brought the game within eight points with three minutes remaining in regulation time, it was the closest they’d come to closing the gap, as they were soon facing a 12-point setback at the final buzzer.
The Cadets return home to Andrews Hall on Saturday to host Johnson & Wales in a GNAC twinbill, tipping off at 1 p.m. The women’s conference game against the Wildcats will follow at 3 p.m. and will serve as Norwich’s Pink Zone event, as well as their “Senior Game.”