Men’s Hoop: Catamounts Hold On, Top Marist 76-72

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – The Vermont Catamounts let a second half lead get away but recovered to score eight of the game’s last 10 points to secure a 76-72 win at Marist on Wednesday night in non-conference action.

Vermont capped off its three-game road trip to begin the season with a 2-1 record. Marist falls to 0-3 on the year after losing its first two games to ranked opponents.

The Cats dominated the low blocks by outscoring the Red Foxes, 42-26, in the paint. UVM shot 62.5% (15-for-24) from the floor in the second half and 52.7% (29-of-55) for the game. Marist was hot from beyond the arc all night long by sinking 11 three-pointers in the tough loss.

Payton Henson had a solid outing for the Catamounts with 18 points and eight rebounds. The redshirt junior also recorded a steal and swatted away a shot. Anthony Lamb followed with 13 points and seven rebounds. Trae Bell-Haynes was one point away from a double-double with nine points and a game-high 10 assists. Dre Wills added 11 points and Kurt Steidl contributed 10 points for the green and gold.

Khallid Hart posted a game-high 21 points for the Red Foxes with five steals and five assists. Ryan Funk knocked down 6-of-10 attempts from long range for 19 points and Isaiah Lamb was the third Marist player in double figures with 10 points.

UVM jumped out to a double digit lead only five and a half minutes into the game. The two squads traded points for most of the first half and Vermont held a 37-29 at the break.

In the second half, Vermont managed to build a 12-point advantage through the first eight minutes. The lead slowly disappeared over the next 5:21 as Marist went on a 19-7 run to tie the game at 59-59.

Bell-Haynes converted a contested layup in the paint to give the Catamounts a two-point lead. As the two teams went back-and-forth, Henson hit a clutch three-pointer at the top of the arc with 3:52 left in the game.

The Red Foxes’ defense produced back-to-back steals and fast break layups to take a 69-68 lead, their first of the evening. On the other end of the floor, the Catamounts retook the lead behind a Henson layup.

With only four seconds left on the clock and UVM holding a one-point advantage, Henson made both free throws of a one-and-one opportunity. After Hart made one of two attempts at the charity stripe for Marist, Bell-Haynes broke free from the Red Foxes’ defense and passed to Steidl for a buzzer-beating layup and the final margin of victory.

Vermont returns home on Saturday (Nov. 19) to host in-state Division III foe Lyndon State at 1 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase All UVM men’s basketball games can be heard on ESPN 101.3 FM and online at with Sam Hyman on the call. Free live video is available in HD at AmericaEast.TV.