BARRE, Vt. – The Norwich University women’s basketball team earned a hard-fought 62-55 victory over the Northern Vermont University-Lyndon Hornets in their final game of the 2022 Barre Granite Association College Classic, held at the Barre Auditorium on Saturday night.
The Cadets’ winning effort was spearheaded by a 29-point showcase from sophomore Haley Brewster (Virginia Beach, VA)whose 11-13 shooting performance from the charity strip was crucial for a team that made 26 trips to the line. Erica Thomas (Burlington, NC) also scored in double figures and recorded a career-high 13 points in the win.
Norwich wasted no time to get things rolling after the Hornets took a 2-0 lead early with two freebies and started a 25-7 run in the first quarter that expanded into an 18-point lead would convert the team’s opening basket second verse, courtesy of Brewster. A quick 8-0 sprint from NVU-Lyndon would be quickly ended by Norwich, who held the Hornets at bay for the remainder of the quarter with a double-digit advantage. Brittany Graham (Rye, NH) would put an exclamation point at halftime, drilling a jumper 11 seconds clear to give the Cadets a 38-23 lead at the break.
The Cadets appeared primed for victory after back-to-back Treys from Graham and Brewster gave Norwich the biggest advantage 46-23 midway through the third quarter. NVU-Lyndon found momentum in the closing minutes and cut Norwich’s lead back to 13 with a three-pointer from Kerigan Disorda seconds from the end of the frame.
Another run by the Hornets, this time a 5-0 sprint to start the fourth, would put NVU-Lyndon back in the single digits and down to two while the Cadets held a slight 53-51 lead at 3:15 Left. A personal 5-0 run from Brewster put Norwich back in comfortable territory before a couple of freebies and a lay-up from Thomas secured the final-minute win.
“Today’s performance is part of our team’s continued growth and learning. Injuries have forced us to use players in new and different positions and they have responded well,” said head coach Markus Zacher said. “On top of that, NVU-Lyndon made a great defensive run to get back in the game and make it a tight competition. And I think, or at least I hope, that we’ve learned a good lesson on how to use the clock to our advantage that will carry over into future games.”
Norwich’s offense came from their starters, as Brewster grabbed 15 rebounds and six steals to go with their 29 points. In addition to Thomas’ 13 points, Graham finished with seven points Maren McGinn (Georgia, Vt.) and MacKenzie Moore (Georgia, Vt.) logged 11 and 10 crashes, respectively.
Emori Davis led the Hornets in offense, shooting 14 points from the bench. Riann Fortin finished the tournament with 11 points and eight boards.
The Cadets will head into the Thanksgiving break on their next outing with another two-day weekend ahead of them, with the 2022 Ed Hockenbury Classic set to begin on Friday December 2nd and Saturday December 3rd. Norwich will host Eastern Nazarene College in the opening game of the Classic at 6:00 p.m. while Trinity College (Conn.) and Westfield State duel in nightcaps at Andrews Hall at 8:00 p.m.