Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
CATONSVILLE, Md. – Vermont had its America East record-setting 24-game road winning streak snapped at the hands of defending champion UMBC with a 65-56 setback on Thursday night. The Catamounts drop to 21-6 on the year and 11-2 in league play. The Retrievers improve to 18-10 overall and 10-3 in the conference standings.
“Tonight, was a tough one and give credit to UMBC – they played better than us on both sides of the ball,” Cioffi Men’s Basketball Head Coach John Becker said. “We struggled to score at times and they were able to beat us one-on-one. We have some things to fix but hopefully we can get another crack at them.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
The rivals struggled to find their offensive rhythm to start the game but the UMBC sprung out to a 6-0 lead by the 16-minute media timeout. The Catamounts crawled back with five quick points over the next three minutes.
UMBC answered with a 9-4 run and built a 15-9 edge at the eight-minute timeout. UVM fought back once again and took its first lead of the game with an 11-5 run after Ryan Davis (6 points, 5 rebounds) put back an offensive board.
With 90 ticks left in the first half, the Retrievers led 26-21 but the Cats drew within 26-25 by the recess after Davis added another second-chance layup and Everett Duncan hit a floater in the lane.
UMBC slowly padded its lead to a nine-point margin twice in the opening nine minutes of the second half. The Green and Gold chipped away at the deficit and got it to as low as 42-37 with 12 minutes left to play.
The Retrievers countered with a 9-1 surge and extended their lead to 51-38, the largest of the night, with 8:31 remaining on the clock.
The Green and Gold whittled the deficit to as little as eight three different times but could not gain any further ground before the clock hit all zeros.
INSIDE THE SERIES
Anthony Lamb scored double figures for the eighth straight game with a team-high 14 points. The junior finished one rebound shy of a double-double with nine boards and denied one shot.
Stef Smith followed with 13 points and six rebounds.
Duncan added eight points, six boards, and three assists off the bench.
UVM suffers its third straight defeat to UMBC but still holds a 32-7 edge in the all-time series. The loss also ended a six-game overall winning streak.
The game was nationally televised on ESPNU.
Vermont will play its final regular season road game at Binghamton on Saturday (Feb. 23). The opening tip is set for 2 p.m. Fans can purchase tickets at BUBearcats.com. All of the action can be seen on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app by logging in with your television provider. Fans can also listen to the game on 101.3 The Game and 1013TheGame.com with Jake Marsh on the call.