Northfield, Vt. – The Albertus Magnus College women's basketball team fell on the road to Norwich, 53-48, on Thursday evening in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) action at Andrews Gymnasium.
The Falcons saw their six-game GNAC winning streak come to an end with the setback to move to 14-8 overall and 6-3 in league play, while the Cadets won their fifth straight home contest to improve to 13-9 on the year and 5-4 in conference tilts.
Trailing by two with less than 90 seconds remaining in the game, Albertus Magnus drew a foul call and got to the charity stripe. The Falcons connected on one of two free throws to pull within one at 49-48. The free throw was the last point of the contest for the guests as Norwich forced turnovers on three of the final four Falcon possessions.
Over the final 13 seconds of play, Norwich junior guard Kayla Mercer hit four free throws to put the game away. Down by three with 10 seconds left in the tilt, Albertus Magnus saw its game-tying three-point attempt rim out.
Both teams struggled from the field in the fourth quarter, combining to shoot 22 percent (5-of-22) and commit 13 turnovers. Albertus Magnus held Norwich without a field goal over the final 4:19 regulation see its comeback attempt fall just short.
The hosts erased a one-point halftime deficit by outscoring the guests, 16-10, in the third quarter. The Cadets opened the frame with a trey from Mercer to take the lead back. Mercer's shot from deep started a 10-0 Norwich run as the home team would never trail again in the contest.
During the first half, the two conference foes went back-and-forth. The opening 20 minutes saw four ties and five lead changes. A layup from Cadet junior forward Heather LeBlanc closed the scoring in the first quarter and knotted the tilt at 13. In the second quarter, AMC freshman wing Deja Ward (Middletown, Conn.) canned a pair of free throws with under 15 seconds left to give the visitors a 30-29 edge heading into the break.
Junior guard Liz Falcigno (Wallingford, Conn.) led the Albertus Magnus attack with a game-high 17 points to go along with three steals and three assists. Sophomore forward Olivia Bolden (South Windsor, Conn.) recorded her ninth double-double of the winter courtesy of a 10-point, 11-rebound performance. AMC senior forward Chelsea Sherrod (Bridgeport, Conn.) added eight points and 10 rebounds for the guests.
The Falcons were impressive from the charity stripe in defeat, knocking down 16-of-17 (94 percent). Both teams struggled from beyond the arc, as AMC hit just 2-of-11 three-point attempts and Norwich shot 33 percent (6-of-18) from deep.
Albertus Magnus returns to action on Saturday, February 13, with a road conference clash against Suffolk at 1:00 pm. The Falcons are looking to snap a five-game losing streak versus the Rams.