NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Junior Zygimantas Sirvydas (Silale, Lithuania) of the Norwich University men's basketball team handed out 10 assists in Tuesday's 73-42 victory over Suffolk University.
Norwich moves to 6-9 overall on the season while earning its third Great Northeast Athletic Conference victory in its eighth league tilt. Suffolk dips to 4-12 overall and to 3-6 against conference opponents.
Sirvydas shattered his career-high mark of eight assists, set three different times, with a 10 assist performance this evening. He becomes the first student-athlete from Norwich to rack up double-digit assist totals since Ryan Williams accomplished the feat on Dec. 11, 2010 against Rivier.
Junior Ryan Fitzgerald (Winchester, Mass.) scored 13 points off the bench for the Cadets, ranking second on the squad in scoring behind junior Ryan Booth's (Northfield, Vt.) team points. Junior Mike Hogervorst (Leiden, South Holland, Netherlands) broke his streak of 14-straight field goals, but rallied with three-straight field goal makes – he is shooting 21-of-23 (.913) across his last four games.
With eight field goals in this evening's win over Suffolk, Norwich now has made at least six field goals in each game during the 2016-17 season. Dating back to last season, the Cadets have made at least five three-point baskets in 18-straight games. The team's seven blocks are also the most in one game since throwing up 10 against Emmanuel (Mass.) on Jan. 17, 2015.
Norwich overwhelmed the Rams with 17-straight points to open the game while forcing the visitors into seven missed field goals and two turnovers. Suffolk's first field goal came 8:27 into regulation as Matt McLean bombed a three-point basket to stop the extended Cadets scoring run.
Suffolk would ultimately cut the hosts lead to nine points, 33-24, following a Jim Djema layup with 22 seconds to go. The Cadets would finish the first 20 minutes shooting just under 61% (14-for-23) and punished the Rams with 20 points in the paint, limiting Suffolk to only two baskets under the rim.
Booth would put his team on the board first in the second half after picking up a defensive rebound on the first Suffolk miss of the half. Ahead by a double-digit differential, 35-24, Norwich would open up a 20-point lead following a layup from junior Darius Bryant (Calhoun Falls, S.C.) with 11:13 to go in regulation time.
The Cadets would continue to pour it on as a Daniel Haimes' (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) jumper, a Booth triple and a jumper from junior Joe Bertrand (Saugus, Mass.) would create a 28-point lead with 7:49 left, 59-31. Bertrand would add a triple with 5:32 to go, putting Norwich up by a 31-point margin while granting Sirvydas his 10th assist of the evening.
Junior Steven Scott-Lopez (Youngtown, Ariz.) propelled Norwich to a game-high 38-point lead with 1:49 to go in regulation time as his jumper created a 71-33 lead. Conor Reynolds would pot three-straight three-pointers in the game's final 1:31 to shrink the final deficit to 31 points, 73-42, as time expired.
Before Reynolds' nine-point outburst in the final 91 seconds, the Cadets limited Suffolk to only nine points for the first 18:29 of the second half. Reynolds would tie Thomas Duffy for the team lead with nine points while the latter would add seven rebounds. Suffolk would haul in 13 offensive rebounds as a team but would lose the overall battle on the glass, 35-to-28.
The Cadets return to action Saturday, Jan. 21, taking on Rivier in a high noon contest in Nashua, N.H.