NORTHFIELD, VT – Saint Joseph's College (5-6, 4-0 GNAC) tipped Norwich University (2-9, 0-4 GNAC), 51-50, in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men's basketball action on Thursday night. Senior Nicholas Jobin (Westbrook, Maine) paced the Royal Blue with 16 points in the victory.
In a conference contest that featured 12 lead changes and seven tie scores, neither team held a lead of more than seven points – the same cushion (51-44) the Monks held with 4:03 remaining. The Cadets managed to net six unanswered points over the following 79 seconds, but neither team was able to score in the final 2:44 of play as Saint Joseph's escaped with the triumph by the slimmest of margins.
For the Monks, junior Steve Simonds (Steep Falls, Maine) tallied 10 points and eight rebounds, senior Matthew Medeiros (Westport, Mass.) added nine points, three boards and three assists, junior Zach Blodgett (Glenburn, Maine) contributed nine points and six caroms, and sophomore Jerome Diggs (Washington, D.C.) came off the bench to record four assists and three steals over 16 minutes of playing time.
For the Cadets, Gary Gladden (Boynton Beach, Fla.) dropped a game-high 22 points with four boards, Evan Tullar (Chelsea, Vt.) posted 17 points, four rebounds and three assists, and Tom McDonald (Groton, Mass.) added seven points and 10 caroms in a losing effort.
The first half saw the lead change hands 10 times, as the two teams exchanged baskets for most of the half. The Cadets never led by more than one point, while the Monks used a Norwich scoring draught in the final three minutes of the half to bolster a five-point lead at 32-27.
Norwich opened the second half with a three-point basket by McDonald and a pair of free throws by Tullar to quickly knot the score at 32-32. The Monks turned the ball over on their ensuing trip down the floor, setting up Norwich's Nickolai Havoutis (Coral Glades, Fla.) for the go-ahead basket with 17:10 to play.
The Cadets lead would be short lived, as Saint Joseph's scored the next four points to reclaim the lead. The Monks would maintain the lead for the rest of the game and opened their largest lead of seven points, 51-50 with 4:03 remaining on the clock.
Norwich responded to the Monks' seven-point lead with a 6-0 run powered by layups by Gladden and Tullar and a pair of free throws by McDonald with 2:44 remaining on the clock. Both teams were unable to net a basket in the final 2:44 of the game, despite Norwich's opportunity for the go-ahead following a timeout taken with 14 seconds left to play.
Norwich hit 37.5 percent of field goal attempts (18-48), while Saint Joseph's was successful on 33.9 percent (19-56) of attempts from the floor. Norwich also held a one-point advantage in points-off-turnovers, 10-9, but the Monks held a 22-14 advantage in points from the paint. The Monks' bench also contributed 12 points to Norwich's zero.
Both teams return to action on Saturday with conference contests on the road. Saint Joseph's plays at Anna Maria College at 3:00 PM while Norwich takes on Emmanuel College in a tilt that also tips off at 3:00 PM.
THANKS IN LARGE PART TO NORWICH UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION
Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 430-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visit www.sjcme.edu.