Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
BURLINGTON — The UVM men’s basketball team clawed out a 56-50 win over rival Stony Brook and captured its third consecutive America East regular season championship on Saturday night in front of a sold-out Patrick Gym. The Catamounts lock up the top overall seed and home court advantage in the upcoming America East Tournament. The game was also presented by Cabot Creamery Co-operative.
“Thank you to all of our fans for showing up and showing out – we could feel your energy on the court and it was huge for us,” Cioffi Men’s Basketball Head Coach John Becker said. “We only scored six baskets in the second half and to win a game like that with the implications, shows a lot about the character of those kids. For us to win three straight regular season titles, it speaks a lot about our current players and the players that have come before them.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
The opening minutes were a defensive battle between the rivals but the Cats took a 7-4 lead into the first media timeout.
UVM used the long ball to gain separation near the midway point of the first half. Leading 11-9, the Green and Gold canned three triples in a row as a part of a 14-2 run.
Stony Brook chipped the margin down to single digits three times in the last four minutes of the period but Vermont went into the locker room with a 36-24 advantage.
The Catamounts struggled to find their offensive rhythm to begin the second half and allowed the Seawolves to claw back into the game. SBU scored 16 of the first 19 points of the final frame and grabbed its first lead of the night, 40-39, at the 13:37 mark.
UVM spent the ensuing seven-and-a-half minutes playing from behind but tied the game at 48-48 when Ryan Davis (5 points, 3 rebounds) buried an equalizing three-pointer from the left wing.
With the score deadlocked at 50-50 in the final minutes, Ben Shungu (7 points, 8 rebounds) snared a rebound and went coast-to-coast for the eventual game-winning layup with 1:32 left on the clock.
Ernie Duncan and Stef Smith combined to hit 4-of-4 attempts at the charity stripe in the final seconds to ice the game.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Anthony Lamb scored a team-high 14 points and pulled down seven rebounds. He shot 6-of-12 for the night with two assists, two steals, and two blocks.
Smith reached double figures for the third time in the last four games with 10 points.
Isaiah Moll added a spark off the bench with eight points on 4-of-6 shooting.
The Catamounts used a balanced attacked as eight different players netted a point.
UVM has won seven straight meetings over Stony Brook and improves to 31-11 in the all-time series.
Vermont earned its ninth regular season title in program history – the second most in America East history behind Northeastern (10). The Green and Gold are just the fourth team to ever win three consecutive America East regular season crowns.
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 38 wins and $3,800.
Vermont will wrap up the regular season against UMass Lowell on Tuesday (March 5). The opening tip is set for 7 p.m. Before the game, UVM will honor its graduation seniors with a Senior Night ceremony presented by Aerie Consulting and the UVM Alumni Association. Fans can purchase tickets at UVMathletics.com/Tickets or at the Patrick Gym Box Office on gameday.
All of the action can be seen on ESPN+ with a paid subscription. Fans can access ESPN+ with a seven-day free trial, followed by a subscription fee of $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year, with the ability to cancel at any time. Fans can also listen to the contest on 101.3 The Game and 1013TheGame.com with Jake Marsh on the call.
AMERICA EAST QUARTERFINAL TICKET INFO
Season ticket holders can purchase their regular season seats through their My Vermont Tickets account until Sunday (March 3). Please contact the UVM Ticket Office at Athletic.Tickets@uvm.edu or 802-656-4410 with any questions regarding your online account.
A general public sale will begin on Monday (March 4) at 12 p.m. in-person at the Patrick Gym Box Office or online at UVMathletics.com/Tickets. Phone orders will not be taken until all in-person customers have been assisted.
Free – UVM students
$14 – Reserved Youth (12 and under)
$16 – Reserved
$18 – Padded Reserved