NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University basketball team suffered through a rash of turnovers and saw 20 fewer trips to the free-throw line in a 70-57 non-conference loss to Rivier University on Saturday afternoon at Andrews Hall Gymnasium.
Norwich (0-3) and Rivier (2-2) both struggled in the opening few minutes of the game with each side failing to register a field goal until Issaiah Chappell opened the scoring with a three-pointer.
The Cadets would proceed to go on an 8-1 run over the next minute and a half to take an 8-4 lead at the 16:11 mark of the opening half. After battling back and forth through the middle part of the stanza, a Jesse Davis (Woodinville, Wash.) jumper at the 8:01 mark would make it 20-18 in favor of Rivier.
The visitors used an 11-2 run in the following four minutes to build their largest lead of the game at 31-20. Eight of the Raiders' 11 points during the streak came from the hands of Chappell.
Junior forward Kyle Booth (Northfield, Vt.) nailed a free throw after he was fouled on a made layup at the 2:54 mark of the first to cut the lead to 31-25. The teams once again traded baskets down the stretch with the Raiders earning a 36-29 advantage heading into halftime.
Three-straight field goals by the Cadets cut the lead to 36-34, highlighted by a dunk and a layup from Kyle Booth. The teams traded buckets over the next several minutes with Rivier still holding onto a 44-39 lead at the 13:31 mark.
Davis and sophomore Caleb Casinas (Aiea, Hawaii) both canned three-point shots on the ensuing two offensive possessions to give the Cadets their first lead of the game at 45-44 early in the game. Unfortunately, the home siders' momentum was stalled out when the Raiders' Nikolas Pignone immediately answered with a three-pointer which restored the visitors' lead which would not again be relinquished.
Rivier gradually increased its lead, helped in part by getting to the charity stripe 12 times in the waning minutes of the game.
Norwich shot the ball well enough hitting 25-of-66 (37.9 %) compared to Rivier which made 21 of its 62 (33.9 %) field goal attempts from the field. The Achilles' heel for the Cadets was the team's 20 turnovers and allowing the Raiders to get to the line 26 times compared to just six visits to the free-throw line for the hosts.
Davis led the way for the Cadets with a game-tying-high 19 points on 8-of-17 shooting. Lewis Jr. scored 11 points and grabbed a team-tying-high seven rebounds. Booth was the other Cadet in double-figure points with 10. Freshman guard Dale Green (Savannah, Ga.) led the team with four assists.
Norwich hosts Colby-Sawyer next on Tuesday with tip-off scheduled for 7:30 p.m.