NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University men's basketball team fell to the Saints of Emmanuel College by a 74-68 score on Saturday at Andrews Hall.
The Cadets fall to 5-9 on the year and to 2-5 within the Great Northeast Athletic Conference while Emmanuel nets only its first conference win of the season in eight opportunities. The Saints also improve to 2-12 overall on the year.
Junior Ryan Booth (Northfield, Vt.) scored 21 total points after shooting 6-for-16 from the floor and 7-of-8 at the free throw line. Sophomore Daniel Haimes (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and junior Darius Bryant (Calhoun Falls, S.C.) each scored 11 points while the latter hauled in a team-best eight rebounds for the Cadets.
Norwich trailed by a 17-11 margin near the midpoint of the first half but would rally to close the gap. A Haimes three-point basket would dramatically tie the game at 21 with 9:06 left in the first half and a triple from junior Joe Bertrand (Saugus, Mass.) would propel the Cadets into the lead, 24-21.
Emmanuel would shoot nearly 55% in the first half (18-for-33) and would battle the Cadets to a 37-37 tie with 1:33 to go in the stanza. Down the stretch, Emmanuel's Dan Flaherty would pot a free throw and Alex Minetti would notch a layup with 29 ticks left on the scoreboard to create a 40-37 advantage.
Haimes would give the Cadets the lead with 7:12 to go in regulation time, using a three-point basket to create a 60-57 lead for the hosts. Down by one point with about four minutes left, a dramatic Booth trey propelled Norwich into the lead, 65-63, but the game would change on the next possession.
Minetti, who finished with 22 points off the bench for the Saints, made a layup and was fouled. He capped off the three-point play to put his team up by a 65-55 score and, immediately following a Norwich three-point miss, Joe Tamburro added insurance with a deep trey to give his team a 69-65 lead with 2:49 to go.
Bryant would cut the Emmanuel lead to 69-67 by making a layup with 92 seconds to go in regulation time, but Aidan Hadley would answer only 27 seconds later with a jumper. A missed three-pointer by the Cadets would force them to foul within the final minute of action – Emmanuel made 3-of-4 foul shots down the stretch to hold on for the lead.
Minetti led both teams in point scoring while Tamburro ranked second with 21 points. Emmett Riddick scored 10 points and handed out three assists while Hadley accounted for eight points and a team-best seven boards.
Norwich will look to rebound from the tough loss by taking on Suffolk this Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. in Andrews Hall.