NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Junior Darius Bryant (Calhoun Falls, S.C.) scored 19 points and posted five steals, five rebounds and four assists for the Norwich University men's basketball in a 79-75 loss to Mount Ida College on Wednesday.
Norwich drops to 7-12 overall and to 4-8 within the Great Northeast Athletic Conference. The Mustangs move to 13-7 on the year, improving to 9-4 against conference opponents. After Norwich swept the season series in 2015-16, Mount Ida posted back-to-back victories over the Cadets this season.
Bryant continued to impress for Norwich, shooting 8-for-10 from the floor while leading the team with five takeaways. Junior Ryan Booth (Northfield, Vt.) scored 16 points, ranking second on the team while setting a personal-best mark with 14 made free throws on the day.
Junior Mike Hogervorst (Leiden, South Holland, Netherlands) picked up six caroms to lead the team while scoring 14 points. Junior Ryan Fitzgerald (Winchester, Mass.) rounded out the double-digit point scoring for Norwich, tallying 13 points and four assists in 20 minutes of work off the bench.
After Hogervorst tied the game at six only 3:31 into regulation time, a quick 10-0 spurt by Mount Ida created a 10-point lead with 14:24 left on the scoreboard in the first half. The Cadets would counter with a strong 13-0 scoring run of their own, capturing a 19-16 lead following a triple from sophomore Daniel Haimes (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) with 11:24 left in the opening stanza.
Norwich would open up a five-point lead, 24-19, after five-straight Cadets points via back-to-back layups from Hogervorst and Bryant preceded a free throw make by Booth. Another extended scoring run by the Mustangs would cut into the Cadets lead as Mount Ida scored 18 of the game's next 21 points to capture a 39-29 lead.
Down by 42-33 with 1:14 left in the first half, Norwich cashed in at the foul line in the final minute as Bryant and Booth did not miss. Booth drove to the lane in the final two seconds, ultimately making two clutch free throws with only one second left on the scoreboard.
Following a tip-in by Errald Jordine with 16:41 left in regulation time, Mount Ida built a game-high lead of 11 points. The Mustangs maintained that lead until Norwich rallied back to tie the game at 69 with 3:35 to go – ultimately, four-straight free throws by the Cadets would bring the score even.
Immediately after a Mount Ida time out, back-to-back three's by Joey DeFillippi were sandwiched between a Cadets turnover, creating an insurmountable lead for the Mustangs with 2:43 left in regulation time. The Cadets would cut the Mount Ida lead to four points on three-separate occasions, but could not get over the hump in the waning minutes.
Four different players reached double-digit points for Mount Ida, including Ethan Dujon and his team-leading figure of 17 points. The Mustangs punished the Cadets with 12 three-point baskets and ultimately picked up 42 rebounds, scoring 16 second-chance points off of 13 offensive caroms.
Norwich hits the road for three-straight contests, starting the stretch of away games versus Anna Maria on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 3 p.m.