Men’s Hoops: Catamounts Survive Scare at Maine, 59-57

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

BANGOR, ME. –– Ben Shungu scored the decisive layup with four seconds left in the game to give Vermont (14-6, 4-1 AE) a 59-57 win over Maine (6-14, 2-4 AE) on Wednesday night. The Catamounts matched a season-best with their fourth consecutive victory.

“It was a little bit of a strange game with some aggressive and choppy play,” Cioffi Men’s Basketball Head Coach John Becker said. “There wasn’t much flow to it, but we found a way and it’s always hard to win a league game on the road.”

The Black Bears netted six quick points to begin the game and eventually held an 18-7 lead with 10:44 left in the first half.
The Catamounts chipped away at the deficit over the next five minutes and drew within 20-19 after Ryan Davis banked in a layup from the low block.
The Green and Gold tied the game at 24-24 at the 2:46 mark with a layup from Robin Duncan. Maine answered on the other end of the floor with a layup from Andrew Fleming (13 points), but Davis scored the last four points of the half as Vermont went into the break with a 28-26 lead.
UVM carried the momentum over to the second half with a 16-8 run and built a 44-34 lead with 13 minutes remaining on the clock.
The Black Bears used the long ball to climb back into the game. In a two-minute stretch, Maine hit two triples and flushed a dunk to whittle the score to 44-42.
With the game tied at 55-55 in the final minute, Anthony Lamb banked in a layup from the left side but two free throws from Maine’s Solomon Iluyomade (4 points) evened the score once again. On UVM’s final possession, Shungu drove into paint and his layup was blocked by a Black Bear defender after the ball hit the backboard, resulting a goaltending call.
Fleming went for the win at the buzzer, but missed a three-point attempt from the corner.
Davis poured in a career-high 22 points and shot 8-of-11 from the field. He also gathered seven rebounds and canned a three-pointer.
Stef Smith reached double figures with 10 points, three assists, and two rebounds.
Lamb matched Smith with 10 points. He pulled down six boards and handed out three assists.
UVM has won the last 18 meetings with Maine and extended its lead in the all-time series to 74-70.
With the victory, the Cats Win, Community Wins campaign and Vermont Mutual Insurance Group will donate $100 to a Vermont charity, bringing the 2020 total to 13 wins totaling $1,300. A special thank you to Vermont Mutual Insurance for their support, protecting Vermonters since 1828.

Vermont will return to Burlington to host UMass Lowell on Saturday (Jan. 25). The contest is UVM’s annual Rally Against Cancer game presented by Inspired Closets. The Catamounts will be wearing special-edition lavender jerseys that will be auctioned off at The auction will run from Friday (Jan. 24) to next Thursday (Jan. 30) and the proceeds will benefit the University of Vermont Cancer Center. Fans are encouraged to wear lavender to support to cause.

Tickets are available for purchase at or at the Patrick Gym Box Office on gameday. All of the action can be seen on ESPN+ with a paid subscription. 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.