Men's Basketball: RPI, Norwich To Play For Hockenbury Crown

Men's Basketball: RPI, Norwich To Play For Hockenbury Crown

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Norwich University men's basketball teams picked up wins on Saturday and will advance to the championship game of the Ed Hockenbury Classic on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 3 p.m. 

Norwich used all of its available players in the game, cruising to a 97-63 victory over the University of Maine at Augusta while RPI notched an 80-65 win over Bridgewater State University. Maine-Augusta will take on Bridgewater State in the 1 p.m. consolation tilt on Sunday. 

Six different players from Norwich reached double-digit point totals as junior Darius Bryant (Calhoun Falls, S.C.) led the way with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Sophomore Daniel Haimes (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) also scored 16 rebounds while junior Ryan Booth (Northfield, Vt.) picked up 13 points. 

Junior Joe Bertrand (Saugus, Mass.) pumped home three treys, notching 11 points, while junior Ryan Fitzgerald (Winchester, Mass.) and Mike Hogervorst (Leiden, South Holland, Netherlands) scored 10 for the Cadets. 

The Cadets improve to 4-0 all-time against Maine-Augusta and the team's 97 points are the most scored since 103 in the season-opener against Maine-Machias on Nov. 15, 2014. Norwich also reeled in 63 rebounds, the most in any game since at least the 2011-12 men's basketball campaign. 

The Moose jumped out to a 10-3 lead in grand style after back-to-back treys followed a booming dunk by Dustin Simpson-Bragg only seconds into the contest. Norwich, however, rallied with eight-straight points to take the lead with 14:47 left in the first half – a triple from Haimes provided a much-needed spark during that stretch of play for the Cadets. 

Jordan Holmes brought Maine-Augusta to within one point, 19-18, with 10:43 to go but Norwich would again establish a sizeable lead after a 10-point scoring run to create a 29-18 advantage with 6:02 remaining. 

Leading by a 48-34 margin at halftime, the Cadets used every available player off the bench and established a 34-point lead with 1:44 to go using a Jude Guerrier (Everett, Mass.) layup. In the second half alone, the Norwich bench scored 29 points and also tallied 24 points in the pain. 

Holmes scored 27 points for the Moose, shooting 10-for-20 from the floor, while Simpson-Bragg finished with 18 total points. As a team, Maine-Augusta attempted 40 three-pointers while connecting on only 11 of them. 

In the second game of the evening, Andreas Kontopidis led RPI with 24 points after a 9-for-16 performance from the floor to help his team post a 15-point win over Bridgewater State. Three others joined Kontopidis in double-digit scoring, including Brian Hatcher, who scored 16 points before fouling out after 24 minutes of action. 

Possessing a 39-33 halftime lead, RPI allowed the first basket of the second half but went on to score the game's next 18 points to capture a commanding 57-35 lead. The Bears would cut the Engineers' lead to no smaller than 13 points on two separate occasions as RPI would hold on for the victory. 

Fawaz Mass scored 24 points, shooting 7-for-16 from the floor while making 10 of his 12 free throw attempts. Keyon Armstrong and Rayshon Ward each tallied 10 points and Mass posted a team-leading seven rebounds.