Men’s Hoop: Catamounts Take 8th Straight, Topping UML 81-67

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

BURLINGTON –  The Vermont Catamounts used double figures from four different players to earn an 81-67 conference win over UMass Lowell on Thursday night. The green and gold extended its winning streak to eight games and stayed unbeaten in America East play.

Vermont improves to 16-5 overall and starts league play off at 6-0 for the first time since 2004-05. The victory marks No. 1,200 in the progam’s history and No. 126 for head coach John Becker, who ties Mike Longergan for third all-time on UVM’s career wins list. UMass Lowell drops to 8-12 and the loss evens its conference record at 3-3.

The Cats and River Hawks were dead-even from the floor at 47.4% (25-for-57) but Vermont made nine shots from beyond the arc and won the bench battle 41-21.

Cam Ward scored a season-high 17 points on 5-of-6 shooting and drained 3-of-4 attempts from long distance. Anthony Lamb recorded his first career double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds, including five offensive boards. Kurt Steidl tied a season-high with four three-pointers for 12 points. The senior also grabbed four rebounds and swatted away three shots. Trae Bell-Haynescapped off the scoring attack with nine points as all 10 Catamounts who stepped onto the floor recorded a point.

Ryan Jones matched Ward with a game-high 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting for the River Hawks. Logan Primerano contributed nine points for UMass Lowell while Matt Harris, Rinardo Perry, and Jahad Thomoas scored eight points apiece.

The scoreboard was even through the first three minutes but the River Hawks manufactured a 14-4 run behind six points from Thomas and took a 19-10 lead at the 12:31 mark.

The Catamounts found a lift off the bench from Josh Hearlihy who helped UVM tie the game with a 13-4 run at the eight-minute mark. Hearlihy recorded a pair of steals which translated into a mid-range jumper and a fast break layup on the offensive end of the floor. Ward added five points to the run with a three-pointer from the top of arc and banked in a contested layup. Ward helped the green and gold close out the first half on a 17-8 run in the final eight minutes. The junior guard tallied six points in the surge as the Cats held a 41-30 lead at the break.

UMass Lowell notched four of the first seven points in the second half but Vermont answered with a 25-9 run in a six-minute span and built a 25-point advantage, its largest of the night.

In the final 12 minutes of the game, the River Hawks outscored the Catamounts 23-13 but ran out of time to allow the green and gold to pick up its sixth conference win of the season.

Vermont travels to league rival Albany on Wednesday (Jan. 25) as action gets underway at 7 p.m.  The game will be streamed on ESPN3 and the watchESPN app by logging in with your cable provider.