NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Junior Darius Bryant (Calhoun Falls, S.C.) notched the first double-double of his collegiate career on Tuesday, helping the Norwich University men's basketball team to a 78-67 win over visiting Rivier University.
The Cadets even their overall record at 2-2 while picking up a win in the first Great Northeast Athletic Conference contest of the season. Rivier dips to 1-4 overall and to 0-1 within league play.
Bryant tallied career-high figures in points scored (13) and rebounds (12) in 27 minutes off the bench for Norwich. Sophomore Daniel Haimes (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) led the Cadets with 19 points, bombing five three-point baskets, while junior Mike Hogervorst (Leiden, South Holland, Netherlands) contributed 13 points and seven rebounds. Junior Zygimantas Sirvydas (Silale, Lithuania) assisted six baskets on the night.
A fast break layup by Sirvydas in the opening minute put Norwich up for good in the game as the Cadets did not trail throughout regulation time. Back-to-back free throw makes by Keith Poitier tied the game at 10 with 13:40 to go in the first half, but a Haimes triple preceded a jumper by junior Tommy Fitzgerald (Williston, Vt.) to create the team's first double-digit lead with 3:54 left in the opening stanza.
A three-point barrage by Rivier to open the second half made things interesting down the stretch. Down by 11, the Raiders made three out of four three-pointers to cut the hosts advantage to 44-42. Haimes would slow the Rivier momentum with a clutch three-point basket with only 4:46 expired in the second half, stoking a rally that would grow to 51-42 only minutes later.
Norwich went ahead by an 18-point margin with 3:41 to go in regulation, creating a game-high lead. The Cadets helped their cause in the final 20 minutes by making all but two of their 15 free throw attempts in addition to shooting 41.4% across that span as well.
Kevin Francis led Rivier with 21 points on five three-point baskets. He also chipped in with six assists and seven rebounds while David Lorden reeled in a game-high nine rebounds for the Raiders.
Norwich returns to action Saturday, Dec. 3 as it hosts Me.-Augusta during the 20th-annual Ed Hockenbury Classic at Andrews Hall. The opening tip is slated for 6 p.m.