Men’s Hoop: Cats Survive Late Charge, Hold Off UMBC 77-74

Courtesy Associated Press

BALTIMORE, MD.Dre Wills had 22 points and 13 rebounds, freshman Anthony Lamb scored 16, including three late free throws, and Vermont held off Maryland-Baltimore County 77-74 on Sunday for the Catamounts 15th straight victory.

Vermont (23-5, 13-0 America East) tied a program record for most consecutive wins. UVM is only the eighth team in conference history to start 13-0.

Vermont, which made just 26 of 39 free throws, led by 18 points with 6:47 left, but UMBC rallied behind a press defense.

K.J. Maura hit a step-back baseline jumper with 19.9 seconds left to pull UMBC to 74-72 and the Retrievers forced a turnover on the inbounds pass, but Jairus Lyles rushed a baseline jumper and air-balled it. Lamb went 1 of 2 from the line with 10.1 left for a 75-72 lead, Vermont fouled near midcourt to prevent a 3-point attempt and Maura hit two free throws with 6.8.

Lamb sank two free throws for a 77-74 lead and Maura called timeout just past midcourt with 2.2 left. UMBC almost turned it over but it was saved to Maura and his heave at the buzzer hit the front of the rim and bounced off.

Maura led UMBC (16-9, 7-5) with 22 points and Lyles added 14 points with six rebounds and five steals.