Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
UNCASVILLE, CT. –– The UVM men’s basketball team tried to erase a late double-digit deficit but suffered a 72-67 setback to Rider in the Air Force Reserve Hall of Fame Tip-Off Championship Game on Sunday night. The Catamounts slip to 5-2 on the year.
“Rider played harder and better than us in the second half,” Cioffi Men’s Basketball Head Coach John Becker said. “They hit some shots and won some of the 50-50 balls late in the game. They are a good team and deserve a lot of credit.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
The two programs went back-and-forth through the first media timeout but the Catamounts gained some breathing room with an 8-1 run near the 13-minute mark.
The Broncs countered with a 9-2 run of their own as the score was deadlocked at 18-18 with 10 minutes left in the half.
After swapping buckets for the next three minutes, UVM closed out the half with an 18-6 surge over the final eight minutes and went into the break with a 41-29 advantage.
Rider used the long ball to claw back into the game. The Broncs scored 17 unanswered points, including three triples from Stevie Jordan (18 points), to jump out in front 51-43 at the 11:33 mark.
The Catamounts clipped the margin back to 53-48 with nine minutes left on the clock but six quick points from the Broncs pushed the deficit back to double digits.
In the final minute, Vermont drew within 67-62 but three free throws from Rider padded its lead to 70-62. Stef Smith drained a corner three to get the Cats back within five but the Broncs iced the game at the line with two more free throws.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Smith racked up a team-high 21 points and canned five threes. He was also named to the All-Tournament Team.
Anthony Lamb added 14 points and came close to a double-double with eight boards. He hit three attempts from beyond the arc and dished out three assists.
Robin Duncan netted a season-high 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting. The sophomore pulled down three rebounds and matched Lamb with three assists.
Sunday night was the first ever meeting between Vermont and Rider.
Vermont returns to Catamount Country to host Gallaudet on Wednesday (Nov. 27). The opening tip is set for 7 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase at UVMathletics.com/Tickets or at the Patrick Gym Box Office on gameday. All of the action can be seen on ESPN3 and the ESPN app by logging in with your television provider. Fans can also listen live on the Vermont Sports Network, from Learfield IMG College, on 101.3 The Game or online at Catamounts All-Access with Jake Marsh on the call.