Men’s Hoops: UVM’s Comeback Efforts Fall Short at Louisville 86-78

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Vermont Catamounts faced a 22-point deficit with 8:37 left in the game and whittled Louisville’s lead to single digits in the final minutes but could not complete the comeback for an 86-78 defeat on Friday night at the KFC Yum! Center. The non-conference matchup was the NIT Season Tip-Off’s finale of campus round contests.

“We showed a lot of heart to battle back and make it a game at the end,” Cioffi Men’s Basketball Head Coach John Becker said. “We’re a young team and we’ll learn from it. I liked how we finished the game so we will watch the tape and get better.”

The two teams traded scores over the opening four minutes but the Catamounts built a 15-8 lead with a 10-2 run in a three-and-a-half-minute stretch. For most of the period, UVM and UofL went back-and-forth but the Cardinals gained momentum in the late minutes. Louisville produced a 17-4 run in the final 5:18 and scored the last nine points of the half for a 45-35 lead at halftime.
The Cardinals carried their momentum into the second half. After the Cats trimmed the margin to 52-43 at the 17-minute mark, UofL busted a 21-8 surge and built its largest lead of the night, a 73-51 advantage, near the eight-minute media timeout. Anthony Lamb converted back-to-back and-one opportunities and sparked a 21-7 run as Vermont trailed 80-72 with three minutes left to play.
In the final minutes, Louisville pushed its lead back to double digits three times and prevented UVM from gaining any ground. Stef Smith scored seven of the Cats’ final nine points but the Cardinals managed to run out the clock for the win.
Lamb racked up a game-high 25 points and shot 9-of-15 from the floor. The junior complimented his second 20-point effort of the season with four rebounds and one steal.
Smith set a new career-high with 24 points and hit 4-of-7 attempts from beyond the arc. He also recorded three steals and gathered two boards.
Isaiah Moll added nine points and finished with a game-high six rebounds.
Vermont slips to an even 2-2 through the first four games while Louisville stays unbeaten at 3-0.
Vermont will host Yale, the first of three Ivy League foes this season, on Wednesday (Nov. 21). The opening tip is set for 7 p.m. Fans can purchase tickets at or at the Patrick Gym Box Office on gameday. The UVM Athletics Ticket Office will have revised hours for Thanksgiving week. The office will be open on Monday (Nov. 19) and Tuesday (Nov. 20) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The office will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and Friday (Nov. 23).

The game will be streamed live on ESPN+. 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 game on 101.3 The Game and with Jake Marsh on the call.