Courtesy of Vermont Sports Information
ESTERO, Fla. – Vermont redshirt sophomore guard Ernie Duncan set a career-high with 33 points and made seven three-pointers in an 87-73 win over Hofstra on Tuesday night in the Gulf Coast Showcase semifinal round.
UVM improves its record to 5-1 overall, its hottest start since the 2010-11 season, while Hofstra drops to 2-3 on the year.
The Catamounts had a strong offensive showing by shooting 53.6% (30-for-56) from the floor and 50.0% (10-of-20) from beyond the arc. Vermont’s defense shut down Hofstra’s long distance shooting, one of the best in the country. Hofstra came into the game shooting 41.3% from three-point land, but UVM held the Pride to only 21.1% (4-of-19).
Duncan reached his new career totals on 10-of-16 shooting and made 7-of-10 attempts from beyond the arc. Duncan was also a perfect 6-for-6 at the charity stripe and tallied five rebounds.Payton Henson recorded double figures for the fifth time this season with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Henson grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and swatted away a Hofstra shot. Kurt Steidl was the third Catamount to register double digits with 10 points, two assists, and made a pair of three-pointers.
Eli Pemberton scored a team-high 21 points for Hofstra on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor and 9-of-11 from the line. Justin Wright-Foreman added 16 points and Deron Powers contributed 10 points for the Pride. The nation’s fourth-best rebounder, Rokas Gustys, was close to a double-double with nine points and eight rebounds.
The two sides kept the game close for most of the first half, but the Catamounts built a 10-point lead at the 8:21 mark behind a pair of Duncan three-point attempts. Vermont manufactured a 24-13 run through the remainder of the period and went into the locker room with a comfortable 49-28 lead.
In the second half, UVM pushed the lead to as much as a 24-point advantage at the 16:38 mark but Hofstra did not go down without a fight. In the next five minutes, the Pride went on a 16-6 run and closed the gap to 61-48 but the Catamounts’ hot shooting did not cool down in the final period by making 4-of-7 attempts from long range.
Vermont plays the University of Houston in the Gulf Coast Showcase title game on Wednesday (Nov. 23) at 7 p.m. All UVM men’s basketball games can be heard on ESPN 101.3 FM and online at 1013ESPN.com with Sam Hyman on the call. The entire tournament will be streamed on the BD Global YouTube Channel. Tickets are available for purchase through TicketMaster.com.