NORTHFIELD, VT – Norwich University (11-7, 7-4 GNAC) defeated Saint Joseph's (15-6, 12-2 GNAC), 73-59, in Great Northeast Athletic Conference men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon. Junior guard Chris Petzy (Kensington, NH) paced the Monks with 17 points in the losing effort.
St. Joe's led for the majority of the first half and trailed by two -33-31 – at intermission, but the Cadets shot 53.3% from the floor and 45.5% from beyond the arc in the second stanza to snap the Monks' winning streak at six games. Saint Joseph's shot just 33.3% from the field and three-point range in the final 20 minutes of play.
For the Monks, Zach O'Brien '12 (Schenectady, NY) tallied 11 points, five assists and two steals and Clark Noonan '14 (Bangor, ME) added eight points and four boards. Julio Vazquez '13 (Waterbury, CT) chipped in with six points off a 2-3 effort from downtown and Tyler Kelley '11 (Saco, ME) scored five points in the loss.
Four Norwich players reached double-digit scoring totals, as Josh Cabrera '12 (Providence, RI), Antonio Davis '12 (Albany, NY), who also grabbed 10 boards, and Jaren Jeffcoat '11 (Dallas, TX) scored 12 points apiece in the triumph. Tom McDonald '14 (Groton, MA) rounded out the top-scoring quartet with 10 points for the Cadets.
Saint Joseph's set the tone early and led by seven – 9-2 – after O'Brien scored a bucket in the paint at the 16:55 mark. After a timeout, Norwich cut its deficit to 12-10 with an 8-3 burst with 13:05 left in the first.
The SJC bench proceeded to provide a spark and helped lift the Monks to a team-high nine-point advantage – 19-10 – three minutes later. Anthony Savino '11 (Portland, ME/Cheverus), Matthew Medeiros '14 (Westport, MA) and Nicholas Jobin '14 (Westbrook, ME) logged important time off the bench during the Monks' 7-0 run, which was capped by a Jobin bucket at the 10:03 mark.
The Cadets climbed back into the action, however, with the help of the long ball and knotted the game, 29-29, when Darell Marshall '12 (Dallas, TX) drilled a trifecta with 3:44 left in the opening frame. A jumper by Terence Cullen '14 (Massapequa, NY) put the Royal Blue back on top momentarily, but a layup by Davis and two freebies from Cabrera pushed the hosts to a 33-31 cushion heading into halftime.
In the first half, St. Joe's shot 38.2% from the field and 30.8% from three-point distance while going 1-3 from the FT line. Norwich shot 41.9% overall and 41.7% from beyond the arc with a perfect 2-2 effort from the stripe in the opening 20 minutes.
Petzy's 10 points led all first-half scorers, while McDonald paced the hosts with seven points before the break.
Saint Joseph's battled and maintained a two-possession deficit for the majority of the second stanza, but Norwich earned its stripes in the paint with 22 points under the hoop in the latter half to secure the win. The Cadets' bench also played an important role, as the Norwich role players outscored the SJC second unit by a 19-3 margin in the second half and 33-12 overall.
The Monks trailed by as few as five points – 61-56 – when Vazquez made a three-pointer at the 6:54 mark, but the Royal Blue would net just a trio of free throws and were outscored by a 12-3 margin during the remainder of the game. The Cadets' largest cushion would be the final outcome as Cabrera iced the cake with a three with 38 seconds left to put his team out front, 73-59.
Saint Joseph's shot 36.2% (21-58) from the floor, 31.8% (7-22) from three-point land, and 71.4% (10-14) from the charity stripe. Norwich shot 47.5% (29-61) from the field, 43.5% (10-23) from downtown, and 71.4% (5-7) from the FT line.
The Cadets, who have now won six consecutive conference contests, held advantages in rebounds (41-29), assists (13-10) and steals (9-8) on the afternoon.
With the loss, St. Joe's falls to 5-3 in the history of the series with Norwich. The Monks topped the Cadets earlier this season, 77-74, at the Alfond Center.
Saint Joseph's will play at Johnson & Wales on Tuesday at 7:30 PM, while Norwich plays at Suffolk on Tuesday at 7:00 PM.