NEWTON, Mass. – The Norwich University men's basketball team mounted an impressive second-half comeback, but the host Mustangs from Mount Ida College went on to defeat the Cadets by an 83-73 margin on Saturday.
The Cadets fall to 3-5 overall on the year and to 1-2 within the Great Northeast Athletic Conference. Mount Ida collects its fifth victory of the season, moving to 2-1 against conference opponents.
The Mustangs punished Norwich with an overwhelming 10 three-point baskets in the first 20 minutes alone, shooting north of 50% from the floor while opening up a commanding 45-26 lead at halftime. Mount Ida also capitalized on 10 Cadets turnovers, scoring 21 points off of Norwich miscues alone in the first half.
Junior Ryan Booth (Northfield, Vt.) led Norwich with 17 points, making a team-leading five three-point baskets. Junior Ryan Fitzgerald (Winchester, Mass.) finished with 13 points while junior Darius Bryant (Calhoun Falls, S.C.) and junior Mike Hogervorst (Leiden, South Holland, Netherlands) each posted 11 points.
Mount Ida made back-to-back triples on its first two possessions, opening up a 6-0 margin in only 57 seconds of elapsed scoreboard time. Dujon and Errald Jordine would later go back-to-back once again from distance, creating a 14-3 advantage for the hosts with only 2:57 ticked off the first half scoreboard.
Norwich would make gains in shrinking the Mount Ida lead, but another trey from the Mustangs, this time courtesy of Brendan Cunningham, created a 13-point advantage with 6:23 left in the first half. After Booth made a three of his own, the Mustangs countered with 10-straight points to end the half and create the 19-point lead as time expired.
The Cadets attempted a second-half rally, using a Daniel Haimes (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) triple only 10 seconds after halftime to spark a comeback. Norwich would eventually trail by a game-high 21 point margin, but cut the hosts' lead to only eight points after a trey from Booth with only 34 seconds to go.
Norwich outscored Mount Ida 47-to-38 in the second half, but the early deficit for the Cadets was too much to overcome. The Mustangs finished the game with 30 points off of Cadets turnovers and potted 17 second-chance points. The Norwich bench, however, did shine in the contest, scoring 29 points.
Dujon finished with 27 points for Mount Ida, scoring 19 in the first half alone after pouring in seven field goals on 10 shots in the first 20 minutes of play. Joey DeFillipi ranked second with 25 points for the Mustangs.
Norwich concludes the first semester with a 5:30 p.m. tilt against the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts on Tuesday, Dec. 13 in Andrews Hall.