Men’s Basketball: Norwich advances to Hockenbury Classic championship tilt after thriller over New England College


Game Recap: Men’s Basketball | 12/4/2022 12:07:00 AM

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University men’s basketball team seized its fifth-win in a row in the opening game of the 2022 Ed Hockenbury Classic on Friday evening, surging past a flurry of valiant New England College rallies to claim a 66-56 win over the Pilgrims in Andrews Hall.

The Cadets will move on to Sunday’s title game, where they will look to capture the program’s first Hockenbury championship since the 2010-11 season.  Norwich will line up against Bridgewater State University at 3:00 p.m., after the Bears’ offensive onslaught catapulted them to an 107-83 win over the University of Maine at Fort Kent in the nightcap.

Jalen Olivero (Holyoke, Mass.) tied the game-high, logging 19 points off the bench on 9-10 shooting from the charity stripe. Donovan Lewis Jr. (Savannah, Ga.) had similar success from the line, going 9-12 to finish with 17 points and 13 caroms. Kohlby Murray (Fair Haven, Vt.) rounded out the double-digit efforts, knocking down a pair of long-range bombs en route to 14 points.

After NEC’s Alex Williams opened the scoring with a jumper a minute and a half in, a quick 6-0 spurt by the Cadets would give them a lead they would not give up in the first half.  It quickly ballooned to 12 on back-to-back jumpers in the paint from Lewis Jr. and Jacob Seaver (Sharon, Vt.), before an and-one opportunity from Williams would cut Norwich’s edge to six at the intermission.

Back-and-forth baskets would keep things narrow, as the Pilgrims gradually nipped away at the Cadets until Kyle Inglis finally got NEC over the hump to give the Pilgrims a 40-39 lead.  Nearly eight minutes later, Inglis handed the Pilgrims their final lead of the contest, 56-55, on a pair of freebies with 3:41 left.

The Cadets subsequently closed the affair on an 11-0 run, with nine of those points coming from the line to ice the game.  Olivero was responsible for seven of those 11 points.

Inglis tied Olivero for the game-high behind 19 points, while Williams added 13 points and 10 boards.  Khalon Taylor contributed 11 points off the bench.

Prior to the game, Norwich honored graduating senior Dale Green (Jacksonville, Fla.) for his remarkable contributions to the program.

Norwich’s outing against Bridgewater State on Sunday will serve as the closer of the 2022 Hockenbury Classic at 3:00 p.m., with the University of Maine at Fort Kent and New England College battling it out beforehand in the consolation game at 1:00 p.m.