NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University men's basketball team shot a blistering 62.5% from the floor on Thursday to power past Anna Maria College by a 68-63 margin.
The Cadets pick up only their second-ever victory over the AMCATS to improve to 5-8 on the year and to 2-4 within the Great Northeast Athletic Conference. Anna Maria drops to 3-11 overall and to 3-4 against league foes.
By making 25-of-40 field goals, Norwich recorded the third-best field goal percentage (.625) since at least the 1985-86 men's basketball season. For the second time in his career, junior Mike Horgervorst (Leiden, South Holland, Netherlands) did not miss from the floor (min. eight field goals) as he scored 17 points off of an 8-for-8 performance with one free throw make.
Junior Ryan Booth (Northfield, Vt.) potted a team-best 21 points with five triples and three assists. Classmate Zygimantas Sirvydas (Silale, Lithuania) handed out four assists, tying with sophomore Daniel Haimes (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) for the team lead. Haimes also led the way with three steals.
The Cadets rebounded from a sluggish start to capture the win. Down by a game-high nine points only 3:41 into regulation time, Norwich quickly tied the game with a nine-point run that was highlighted by three layups from Hogervorst. With the game tied at 26 with 4:35 to go in the first half, Norwich outscored the AMCATS by a 9-2 margin in the waning minutes.
Norwich scored on its own basket with 10:14 to go in the second half, cutting the Anna Maria deficit to only one point, 46-45, but Norwich rallied with back-to-back threes from Haimes and Booth to stoke offensive momentum. The AMCATS would not quit, however, and would use a Mike Rapoza layup with 3:59 to go, cutting the Norwich lead to 56-53.
A deep triple from Booth after an Anna Maria turnover would bring the crowd to its feet, creating a six-point margin with just under three minutes left. Another trey from Booth would increase the Cadets lead to nine, but the AMCATS would again make things interesting late.
Ahead by only four points with 16 seconds left, Sirvydas made a clutch free throw to effectively end the game and clinch the GNAC victory over Anna Maria.
The AMCATS were led by Rapoza's 23 points and 13 rebounds. David Jean-Louis was responsible for 15 points and six assists while Kenneth Graham was second on the team in rebounding with six caroms.
Norwich hosts Emmanuel (Mass.) this Saturday, Jan. 14 at 1 p.m. in Andrews Hall.