MOUNT IDA MEN'S BASKETBALL
Thursday, February 8, 2018
Athletic Center, Newton, Mass.
FINAL: MOUNT IDA 72, NORWICH 68
NEWTON, Mass. -- Sophomore Kevin Vanderhorst (Lawrence, Mass.) and freshman Kevin Nunez (Dorchester, Mass.) each scored 15 points and combined for 15 rebounds to lead Mount Ida to a 72-68 Great Northeast Athletic Conference men's basketball victory over Norwich Thursday evening at the Athletic Center.
In a game that featured 16 lead changes and eight ties, the host Mustangs (10-13, 4-10 GNAC) built a late six-point first half lead only to see the visiting Cadets (10-12, 7-6 GNAC) receive eight points from senior Ryan Booth (Northfield, Vt.) in the closing 2:09 before intermission to grab a 34-32 edge at the break. The squads exchanged the lead seven times over the first 12-plus minutes of the second half before senior Jayson Clark's (Austin, Tex.) three-pointer with 7:28 remaining gave Mount Ida the lead for good (58-56), and the hosts scored 12 of the game's next 19 points to extend that margin to seven (70-63) on Nunez's lay-in with 3:44 to play.
Booth again worked his late magic for Norwich, as he converted a pair of free throws and canned a deep three-pointer in a 15-second span to pull the Cadets back to within a bucket (70-68) with 50 seconds remaining, but senior Joey DeFillippi (Bristol, Conn.) grabbed a key offensive rebound and converted two free throws in the final seven seconds to seal the Mustang triumph, as the win pulled Mount Ida to within a half game of the eighth and final conference playoff spot.
Vanderhorst added eight rebounds to his scoring effort on the night for the hosts, while Nunez grabbed seven boards as well for the Mustangs, who received 13 points from senior John Oliver (North Babylon, N.Y.). Clark finished with 12 points, seven assists, five caroms and a pair of steals for Mount Ida, which received nine points and seven rebounds from DeFillippi as well as five boards from freshman Jonathan Friberg (North Attleboro, Mass.). The Mustangs overcame a 1-of-16 shooting effort from behind the arc to post a 52 percent performance (26-50) from two-point range on the night, as the hosts held a 44-31 rebounding advantage (13-4 on the offensive glass) to avenge a six-point road setback to the Cadets suffered only two days ago.
Booth led all scorers with 26 points, including six three-pointers, in the setback for Norwich, which received 12 points from senior Mike Hogervorst (Leiden, The Netherlands). Senior Zygimantas Sirvydas (Silale, Lithuania) added nine points, six boards and four assists for the visitors, who received five points each from seniors Tommy Fitzgerald (Williston, Vt.), Ryan Fitzgerald (Winchester, Mass.) and Joe Bertrand (Saugus, Mass.). The Cadets shot 43 percent (24-56) from the field overall and canned eight treys for the contest, as accounted for nearly half of its points total (30) in the paint.
Mount Ida heads to Paxton, Mass. on Tuesday evening to square off with Anna Maria in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference outing that tips-off at 6:00 p.m., while Norwich hosts Johnson & Wales in a GNAC clash on Saturday afternoon in Northfield, Vt. beginning at 3:00 p.m.