NORTHFIELD, VT – Saint Joseph's (7-3, 3-1 GNAC) defeated Norwich University (3-7, 0-3 GNAC), 75-64, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men's basketball contest on Saturday afternoon.
The lead changed hands twice and the score was tied on three occasions in the first half. The Monks led by as many as six points in the opening minutes of the game before the Cadets answered with six-unanswered points to even the score at 12-12. A three-point basket by Josh Cabrera (Providence, R.I.) lifted the Cadets to a four-point lead with 12:55 to play, but St. Joe's answered with six-straight to reclaim the advantage at 20-18.
The Monks extended their first-half lead to nine with 1:10 before the break, but Norwich's Tom McDonald (Groton, Mass.) hit a three-point basket and a free-throw on the next trip to cut the cushion to five.
Monks junior Matthew Medeiros (Westport, Mass.) connected on a three-pointer with one second left on the clock to extend the Monks' lead to 39-31 going into intermission.
The Monks did not relinquish the lead in the second half and led by as much as 15 late in the latter stanza. With 11:39 remaining in the game, the Cadets cut their deficit to five on a jumper by Nickolai Havoutis (Coral Springs, Fla.), but Saint Joseph's wasted no time building the lead to 64-49 with 4:53 to play.
A pair of free-throws by Evan Tullar (Chelsea, Vt.) with 2:25 remaining helped cut the Monks' lead down to single-digits, but Norwich was forced to foul to gain possession in the final minutes of the game which allowed St. Joe's to clinch the 75-64 final.
Josh Cabrera (Providence, R.I.) netted a game-high 28 points, including 18 in the opening half, and shot 10-19 from field goal range, 4-8 from behind the arc and 4-4 from the free-throw line in a losing effort. Havoutis tallied 14 points and five boards and Tullar contributed 11 points and five caroms on the afternoon. The Cadets shot 40.4 percent from the floor and connected on seven of 23 three-point attempts.
The Monks saw three players score in double-digits, as Medeiros and Nicholas Jobin (Westbrook, Maine) poured in 21 apiece and Steve Simonds (Steep Falls, Maine) scored 17. Jobin led the team in rebounding with seven boards, while Julio Vazquez (Waterbury, Conn.) dished out a game-high six assists. The Monks shot 49.1 percent from the floor and also connected on seven three-pointers throughout the game.
With the result, Saint Joseph's improves to 9-3 in the history of the matchup with Norwich University and has now defeated the Cadets in four-straight meetings.
Both teams host GNAC-rivals on Tuesday night at 7:00 PM, when Saint Joseph's battles reigning conference champion Albertus Magnus College and Norwich faces Emerson College.
THANKS IN LARGE PART TO NORWICH UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION
Saint Joseph's College, founded in 1912 by the Sisters of Mercy, celebrates its Centennial year in 2012 with a theme of "Realize the Promise" – honoring our commitment to educating well-rounded graduates who combine career focus with classic liberal arts studies. A Private, Catholic, primarily residential, coeducational liberal arts institution, Saint Joseph's welcomes students of all ages and all faiths. The campus, located 18 miles northwest of Portland and just two hours from Boston, encompasses 350 acres along the shore of beautiful Sebago Lake in Standish, Maine. Enrollment ranges between 1,000 and 1,100 students annually. Saint Joseph's offers challenging academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences, education, nursing and business fields in a value-centered environment.