Men’s Hoop: Catamounts Pull Away in Second Half, Top St. Mike’s 90-61

Courtesy Vermont and St. Michael’s Sports Information

BURLINGTON – Despite a tight first half, the UVM men’s basketball team outscored St. Michael’s 53-26 in the second half for a 90-61 win on Sunday afternoon at Patrick Gym in the final tune-up game of the preseason.

“It was a chaotic first half with a lot of pressing and it can be challenging to play that way,” head coach John Becker said. “St. Mike’s did a good job of playing hard and forcing turnovers. After the first half, we settled in defensively and started switching a few things and did a good job overall.”

The crosstown foes kept the score close through most of the first half but the Catamounts gained some breathing room near the midway point. UVM produced a 13-2 run in an eight-minute stretch and pushed its lead to 24-13. The Purple Knights used the long ball to get back into the game and took a 31-30 lead with 3:41 mark after mounting a 18-6 surge. Ernie Duncan and Anthony Lamb took over in the final minutes and scored the final six points for the Cats, who held a 37-35 advantage at the break.
UVM slowly padded its lead through the 12-minute media timeout in the second half, but blew the game open with in the final 10 minutes. Leading 60-50, the Cats polished off the night with a 30-11 run. In the second half, the Green and Gold shot 76.2% (16-for-21) and held the Purple and Gold to 27.8% shooting (10-for-36) in the final frame.
Duncan guided the Catamounts with 23 points and drained 4-of-6 attempts from beyond the arc. He also collected three rebounds and recorded a pair of steals.
Isaiah Moll followed with 22 points, including 20 in the second half, and shot 7-of-9 from the floor. The freshman grabbed four rebounds and dished out two assists.
Lamb added 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting with five boards and five blocks.
The Cats outscored the Purple Knights 48-20 in the paint and out-rebounded SMC 45-23.
For St. Mike’s …
Senior Derek Cheatom (Buffalo, N.Y./The Park School of Buffalo), 15 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block, 5-for-5 on free throws
· Sophomore Walker Storey (Shelburne, Vt./Champlain Valley Union), 12 points, 4 blocks, 5-for-9 field goals, 2-for-4 three-pointers
· First-year Jontai Williams (Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Hayes), 8 points, 2-for-2 three-pointers
· Sophomore Jason Heter (Andover, N.J./Newton), 8 points, 3-for-5 field goals.

Vermont will get the regular season underway at former America East rival Boston University on Friday (Nov. 9). The opening tip is set for 7 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase at Free live video will be available on the Patriot League Network. The game can also be heard on 101.3 The Game and with Jake Marsh on the call.

· Friday vs. Concordia (N.Y.) College at Assumption College Tip-Off Classic, 4 p.m.