Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
WEST HARTFORD, CT. — UVM’s Class of 2019, comprised of seniors Ernie Duncan and Samuel Dingba, became the all-time winningest class in school history with a 77-75 conference win over Hartford on Saturday. The Class of 2019 earned their 100th-career victory as the Catamounts improve to 21-5 overall and 11-1 in league play.
“It was a great win on the road and I want to thank all of the Catamount fans who came down to the game,” Cioffi Men’s Basketball Head Coach John Becker said. “Today was a tough gritty win and Hartford made a lot of shots but we made enough stops down the stretch. A special congrats to our seniors on 100 wins and it’s pretty incredible stuff what they’ve accomplish at Vermont.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Catamounts jumped out to a quick 7-3 lead in the first two minutes with five points coming from Duncan.
The Hawks countered with a 13-4 run and took a 16-11 advantage into the 12-minute media timeout.
Anthony Lamb scored six points in a five-minute stretch as UVM clawed back to tie the game at 19-19.
In the final 2:24 of the half, the Green and Gold used the long ball to spark an 8-0 run but the Hawks responded with a run of their own and both teams went into the locker room deadlocked at 36-36.
The conference rivals traded scores to begin the second half but Hartford used a triple and two layups to spark a 7-0 run for a 49-43 lead with 14 minutes left in the game.
After playing catch-up for the next five minutes, the Cats used a 9-0 run to regain a 60-57 lead at the 8:42 mark.
The Hawks reclaimed the lead at 63-62 two minutes later when J.R. Lynch (21 points) sank a trey in front of his own bench. Stef Smith banked in a layup on the ensuing possession and the Catamounts never trailed for the rest of the night.
As the game came down to the final minutes, Vermont sank 7-of-9 attempts at the charity stripe to seal the victory.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Lamb dropped a game-high 25 points on 7-of-14 shooting. He also grabbed six rebounds and knocked down 10-of-12 attempts at the line.
Duncan followed with 16 points and shot 5-of-11 for the night. He canned a trio of three-pointers and pulled down three rebounds.
Smith reached double figures with 12 points and five boards.
UVM extended its winning streak to six games – matching a season high.
The win secured the Catamounts a home quarterfinal playoff game and a top-four seed in next month’s America East Tournament.
With the victory, the Cats Win, Community Wins campaign and Vermont Mutual Insurance Group will donate $100 to Make-A-Wish Vermont; bringing this year’s total to 34 wins and $3,400.
Vermont continues its road trip at reigning America East champion UMBC on Thursday (Feb. 21). The opening tip is set for 7 p.m. Fans can purchase tickets at UMBCRetrievers.com. The game will be nationally televised on ESPNU and the WatchESPN app by logging in with your television provider. ESPNU is located on DirecTV channel 208, DirecTV Video on Demand channel 1208, and Dish Network channel 141. For local Xfinity users, ESPNU can be found on channel 293 SD and channel 822 HD. Fans can also listen to the game on 101.3 The Game and 1013TheGame.com with Jake Marsh on the call.