NEWTON, Mass. – The Norwich University men's basketball team posted an 81-68 loss at the hands of Lasell College on the road Saturday.
The Cadets conclude the season with an 8-17 overall record and a 5-13 mark against Great Northeast Athletic Conference opponents. Lasell wraps the regular season up with a 17-8 overall record and a 14-4 mark against league foes. Norwich required a victory against the Lasers to qualify for postseason play.
Junior Zygimantas Sirvydas (Silale, Lithuania) led the Cadets with 18 points, including four three-point baskets. Juniors Darius Bryant (Calhoun Falls, S.C.), Mike Hogervorst (Leiden, South Holland, Netherlands) and Joe Bertrand (Saugus, Mass.) each scored 11 points for Norwich.
The Cadets opened up a 7-2 lead only 3:41 into the contest following a Sirvydas three-point basket. Bryant would add another trey for Norwich, creating a 10-6 advantage for the visitors with 13:55 left in the first half. Down by five later in the stanza, Norwich tied the game at 18 with five-straight points.
Lasell would take control of the first half by scoring 12 of the game's next 14 points, taking a 30-20 lead with just under six minutes to go. During that stretch, Derek McMahon poured home three-point baskets to create the double-digit lead. The Cadets eventually cut the Lasell lead to four, 30-26, with back-to-back deep triples by Booth.
Following a time out, the Cadets extended its scoring run to 10-straight points as Hogervorst capped off the run with a layup to tie the game at 30 with 2:33 to go in the first half. Down by a 33-30 margin, Bertrand dramatically tied the game with three seconds on the clock, pouring home an off-balance triple to knot the score at 33 heading into halftime.
Lasell controlled the paint in the first half, scoring 22 of their 33 points under the basket – the Lasers would later add 12 points off of Cadets miscues. Norwich was also 7-for-12 from beyond the arc while limiting the Lasers to only two made treys on 13 shots.
The Cadets would carry over the momentum into the second half, building a four-point lead, 44-40, following a made free throw by Hogervorst with 16:36 left in regulation time. Lasell would utilize a 6-0 scoring run to retake the lead, but two free throws from junior Ryan Fitzgerald (Winchester, Mass.) would tie the game at 46.
Tim Blair pumped home a three-point basket 19 seconds later to give Lasell the lead for good. McMahon found his scoring stroke from distance once again in the second half to grow the Lasell lead to 58-50 with 10:50 to go in regulation time. The Lasers eventually rebuilt a 10-point lead, 70-60, with 4:20 left on the clock.
From that point, missed layups and turnovers cost Norwich as a 14-point lead, 74-60, was created with 2:38 remaining in regulation time. Lasell shot 57.7% from the floor in the second half, making 15-of-26 shots while limiting the Cadets to only 13 makes on 28 shots in the final 20 minutes.
John Powell scored 32 points for Lasell, shooting 12-for-15 from the floor. Yordan Villalon hauled in 16 rebounds and scored 12 points while McMahon punished the Cadets from distance, making four of his team's six three-point baskets.