MEN'S BASKETBALL FALLS IN SEASON OPENER TO NORWICH, 76-64
Nov. 17, 2009
BOSTON, MA - Freshman guard Ryan Williams (Dallas, TX) netted 17 points in his collegiate debut to lead the Norwich University men's basketball team over host University of Massachusetts Boston, 76-64, tonight at the Clark Athletic Center on the campus of UMass Boston. The Cadets improve to 1-0, while the Beacons fall to 0-1 in the season opener for both squads. The match-up was the first between the teams since a 90-81 Norwich win on November 28, 1987.
UMass Boston owned a 52-40 lead with 14:04 showing on the second half clock, before Norwich reeled off 23 straight points, while holding the Beacons scoreless for the next six minutes and change of play, to take a 63-52 advantage at the eight-minute mark of the second session. Junior forward Jaren Jeffcoat (Dallas, TX) netted eight points during the run, while Williams drained a trio of three-pointers to cap the burst.
A lay-up by sophomore guard Michael Mitchell Jr. (Boston, MA/Wayland HS) later pulled UMass Boston to within 65-58 with 3:51 showing in the second half and the Beacons stayed within 71-64 with 1:43 remaining, but it would be as close as they would get as the Cadets scored the final five points of the contest.
Sophomore Antonio Davis (Albany, NY) sank a pair of free throws to pull Norwich to within 9-6 with 15:31 left in the first half, but UMass Boston scored nine unanswered points to take an 18-6 lead with 11:19 to go in the first stanza. The Cadets responded with a 12-2 stretch, fueled by a pair of Williams' trifectas to cut the deficit to 20-18 with 8:18 remaining in the opening half. The Beacons then took their turn in the seesaw first half with a 16-4 blitz of their own, paced by nine points from sophomore forward Kyle King (Springfield, MA) to give them their largest lead of the night at 36-22 with 3:52 showing in the first half. Norwich shot back with the final seven points of the half to make it 36-29 at the intermission.
A layup by senior forward Israel Guardado (El Centro, CA) cut the home team's lead to 44-39 at the 16:27 mark of the second half, before UMass Boston scored eight of the next nine points to take a 52-40 lead, behind five points from junior guard Mo Johnson (Portland, OR).
Williams was 6-12 from the floor for the Cadets, including 5-8 from three-point range, while adding six rebounds and three steals in 21 minutes off the bench. Jeffcoat posted a double-double of 15 points and 11 boards to go with four steals, two assists and a block, while freshman point guard Nickolai Havoutis (Coral Springs, FL) contributed with 11 points on 4-8 from the field and a game-high six assists in addition to three rebounds and two steals.
King finished with 17 points on 7-13 from the floor, including 2-3 from beyond the arc to go with six rebounds, two steals, two blocks and an assist in his debut for the Beacons. Mitchell Jr. netted 12 points on 6-10 shooting and grabbed four rebounds, dished for three assists and made three steals, while Johnson chipped in with 11 points, four rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals.
UMass Boston will be in action again on Saturday, November 21 when it travels to nearby Quincy, MA to take on Eastern Nazarene College at 3:00 p.m., while Norwich heads to Plattsburgh, NY to play Plattsburgh State University on November 21 at 8:00 p.m.