NORTHFIELD, Vt. The Norwich men's basketball team hosted the Panthers of Plymouth State University on Saturday evening, dropping an overtime thriller to the Panthers by a 92-84 final score.
The game was tight all day long, as the team's swapped leads throughout regulation. The Cadets managed to get up by 10 points in the first half before the Panthers closed out the half on a strong run to head into the intermission only down by 3.
It was much of the same in the second half, as neither team could pull away from the other. Senior Zygimantas Sirvydas (Silale, Lithuania) scored the first 7 points to open up the half, as he finished with 19 points and 6 assists. With only 17 seconds to go, Kieran Beck went 1-2 at the free throw line to put the Panthers up by two. Senior Ryan Booth (Northfield, Vt.) managed to draw a foul with a mere 5 seconds left in regulation, and calmly hit back to back free throws to tie it up. Plymouth State got the last shot, but couldn't convert on a jumper from 12-feet.
Overtime stuck to the theme at first as the teams stayed neck and neck, before a clutch three-pointer from Jaylen Leroy pulled the Panthers up to a 4-point lead with under a minute to go. Leroy and Chase Soares hit all four of their free throws to close out the game, giving the Panthers a 92-84 victory.
Ryan Booth led the Cadets with 20 points and 7 rebounds on the day. Ryan Fitzgerald (Winchester, Mass.) provided a nice spark off the bench for the Cadets, collecting 7 points and 7 rebounds. Sirvydas racked up 19 points and led the team with 6 assists. For the Panthers, Mike Osgood led all scorers with 27 points.
The loss drops the Cadets down to 0-2 on the young 2017-18 season. Coach Booth and the squad will look to get into the win column on the 29th, as they travel to New England College for a 7:00 pm tipoff against the Pilgrims.
Courtesy: Norwich Athletics