Fisher closes out season in style, says goodbye to senior Norford
The Fisher College Men's basketball team closed out the 2011-2012 season in tremendous fashion last night in front of a thunderous crowd at Fectau-Leary Gymnasium.
The night was all Dennis Norford, as he led the Falcons to a 102-51 victory over the University of Maine- Augusta. Norford, the Falcons' lone senior, was honored prior to the game for his dedication and production to the basketball program. However, Norford saved his best performance for last.
"It was a fantastic team effort," said Head Coach Dave Lindberg, whose team surpassed the 100 point mark for the first time this season. "But the night really belonged to Dennis. Tonight's performance was an unbelievable example of hard work paying off. The mark he is leaving on this program is one that will never be forgotten. He is what Fisher Basketball is truly about."
Norford dominated from start to finish, closing out his season with a career high 42 points and 32 rebounds. His record setting performance was capped off with a coast to coast finish after beating three UMA defenders.
The senior entered the game 2nd in the nation in rebounding at 12.04 rebounds per contest. Like a man on a mission, Norford exploded for 19 rebounds in the first half, giving him an outside shot at taking over the nation's lead.
Neither team shot the ball well at the start the game, with the scoring just 2-1 three minutes into the game. After a Fisher timeout, the Falcons turned up the defensive pressure and began to dictate the game's tempo. The full court pressure proved costly for the visitors who had 17 first half turnovers.
Fisher started to pull away from their guests midway through the first half after freshman Alan Womack was able to bring the crowd to their feet the a tremendous dunk, initiated by another UMA turnover.
It was clear from the beginning Norford had the record in his sights. He completely dominated the boards, single handedly out-rebounding the visitors 19-11 in the first half. Norford also added 12 points in the first half, completing his 23rd double-double of the season and 38th of his career.
Sophomore Justin Pascale nearly reached double figures in the first half also, after hitting three three-pointers in 10 minutes of action. As a team Fisher shot 31.1% (14-45) from the floor in the first half while UMA only managed 21.4% (6-28).
The second half was all Fisher as they outscored the undermatched visitors 65-34. Fisher ran their game plan to perfection, allowing Norford to completely dominate in the paint. They also got an added bonus when Norford knocked down a three in transition, only his second three of his career. Norford's record setting first half was nothing compared to the second 20 minutes. Sitting just nine rebounds away from the record, Norford collected five rebounds in the first eight minutes of the half. However, it wasn't until three minutes left when Norford accomplished his mission. Norford missed a four footer in traffic but was able to bring down back to back rebounds to record his 27th and 28th rebound of the game. He would finish with a career high 32 boards.
The 32 rebound performance solidified his place as the nation's leading rebounder. Norford brought down 369 rebounds this season, averaging 12.72 rebounds per game. He finished with 876 career rebounds, nearly 100 more than any other Falcon in history. His 1419 career points leaves him 3rd all-time in Fisher history.
Chis Green and Sam Nwadike both had impressive performances for the Falcons. Nwadike finished with seven points, seven rebounds and eight assists in just 17 minutes of play. Green added 12 points on 5-9 shooting which included a monstrous dunk with seconds left in the game that sent the fans into jubilation.
The visitors were led by Willy Walter's 12 point, seven rebound effort. David Prior also added 10 points and eight rebounds.
Fisher closed out their season with a 10-20 record, 2-8 in the American Mideast Conference.