Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Catamounts stayed within striking distance for most of the game until the Friars pulled away late down the stretch to hand Vermont an 80-58 non-conference loss on Monday night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. The Catamounts outshot the Friars in the first half at 39.2% (11-for-28), but the Friars came back to shoot 62.5% (15-for-24) in the second half.
Vermont’s record evens at 1-1 overall while Big East power Providence begins the 2016-17 season at 1-0.
Payton Henson scored a team-high 21 points and grabbed six rebounds off the glass. Dre Wills added nine points on a perfect night from the floor (4-for-4) and Trae Bell-Haynes contributed eight points for the Catamounts.
Providence had a trio of players reach double figures. Emmitt Holt guided the Friars with a game-high 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting with five rebounds and three blocks. Rodney Bullock followed with 18 points while Ryan Fazekas registered 11 points. Bullock and Fazekas each knocked down three shots from beyond the arc. Kyron Cartwright was a point shy of a double-double with nine points and 12 assists.
UVM started the game off on a strong note by winning the opening tip and then Bell-Haynes converted a layup while getting fouled for the and-one opportunity. The Catamounts trailed for most of the first half, but managed to keep the disadvantage to only a two possession game. With six minutes to go before the break, Providence manufactured a 12-point advantage but Vermont battled back to cut the deficit in half to trail 34-28 headed into the locker room.
In the second half, the Friars gradually increased their lead to 15 points but the Catamounts kept fighting back within striking distance. Providence pulled away for good by producing a 20-7 run in the final 8:10 for the final margin of victory.
Vermont caps off the three-game slate to begin the year on Wednesday (Nov. 16) at Marist. The final game of the road trip will tip-off at 7 p.m. All UVM men’s basketball games can be heard on ESPN 101.3 FM and online at 1013ESPN.com with Sam Hyman on the call. Free live video is available at goredfoxes.com.