Men’s Hoop: Catamounts Win Conference Opener at Maine 90-77

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

BANGOR, ME. – Vermont senior Kurt Steidl scored seven points in the opening five and a half minutes to eclipse the 1,000-career point plateau in Thursday night’s 90-77 win at Maine in the America East opener. Steidl became the 35th player in program history to surpass the 1,000-career point mark.

Vermont improves to 11-5 overall and starts the conference slate off at 1-0. The Catamounts won their third straight game on the docket and ninth in a row over the Black Bears. Maine drops to 4-12 overall and 0-1 in league play after suffering its sixth straight loss.

The Cats shot a season-high 63.3% (36-for-57) from the floor and outscored the Black Bears 54-34 in the paint. UVM converted 12 turnovers by Maine into 21 points on the offensive end of the court.

The green and gold had six players score at least nine points in the victory. Steidl scored a season-high 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting and made three attempts from beyond the arc. The senior grabbed five rebounds off the glass along with three assists, three blocks, and a pair of steals. Anthony Lamb and Trae Bell-Haynes notched 15 points apiece. Darren Payen posted his third straight game in double figures as the redshirt senior finished with 12 points. Cam Ward and Dre Wills contributed nine points each for the Cats.

Maine’s Wes Myers led all scorers with 30 points on 11-of-16 shooting and shot a perfect 7-for-7 from the charity stripe. Ryan Bernstein tallied 12 points with five rebounds and five assists. Austin Howard and Aaron Calixte rounded out the Black Bears’ scoring attack with 11 points apiece.

Maine scored the first bucket of the game with a three-pointer from Calixte but the Catamounts answered with a 7-0 run. The Black Bears clawed back and kept the margin to a one-possession game until the midway point when Howard gave the Black Bears their first lead of the evening at 27-26.

The Catamounts rallied with a 12-0 run to take a double-digit lead and closed out the half on a 20-9 run for a 46-36 lead at the break.

Maine opened the second half on a 9-2 run and trimmed UVM’s lead down to 48-45. Vermont held off Maine’s surge until the 9:23 mark when the Black Bears put together a 7-0 run and took a 63-62 lead.

With 7:39 left in the game and the score tied at 65-65, the green and gold closed out the game on a 25-12 run to secure its first conference win of the season.

Vermont returns home on Sunday (Jan. 8) to host Hartford at 4 p.m. Single game tickets are available at or at the Patrick Gym Box Office on gameday.  Free live video is available in HD at AmericaEast.TV. with Sam Hyman on the call.