Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
BURLINGTON –– The UVM men’s basketball team used another balanced scoring attack on its way to an 81-62 win over Hartford on Saturday night in the America East home opener. The Catamounts move to 13-4 on the year and stay unbeaten in conference play at 3-0. The Hawks drop to 8-9 overall and 1-1 in the league standings.
“It was another great team win against a talented and experienced Hartford team,” Cioffi Men’s Basketball Head Coach John Becker said. “This team continues to be impressive and it starts with our defense. If we can continue to be this focused and play well, then good things are going to happen.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
The two rivals played a tight opening four minutes but the Cats jumped out to an 14-6 lead after a fast break layup from Ben Shungu and a corner triple from Isaiah Moll.
The Hawks rallied with five unanswered points and whittled UVM’s lead to 14-11.
With UVM leading 21-18 at 7:51 mark, the Catamounts closed out the half on a 15-5 run for a 36-23 halftime advantage.
Vermont padded its lead to 44-23 with an 8-0 run to begin the second half thanks to long balls from Ernie Duncan and Stef Smith (12 points).
The Cats managed to keep the Hawks in check for the rest of the game as the visiting squad did not get any closer than 17 points.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
The Catamounts had five players score double figures for the first time this season against a Division I opponent. Anthony Lamb led the way with his third double-double of the season on 21 points and 12 rebounds.
Duncan finished with 16 points and hit 3-of-6 attempts from long range.
Moll added 15 points and four boards off the bench. The freshman shot 6-of-8 for the night and was a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.
UVM is off to a 13-4 start for the first time since 2004-05. The Cats are also 3-0 in league play for the third straight season and fifth time under Becker.
Saturday’s contest featured the top-two teams in this year’s America East Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Four members of the Preseason All-Conference Team also played in the game – Lamb and Duncan from UVM along with John Carroll (16 points, 11 rebounds) and Jason Dunne (5 points) from Hartford.
Before the game, Lamb was honored for reaching the 1,000-career point milestone against Dartmouth on Jan. 2.
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 8 wins and $800.
Vermont will hit the road again for a trip to twin state rival New Hampshire on Wednesday (Jan. 16). The opening tip is set for 7 p.m. Fans can purchase tickets at UNHWildcats.com. All of the action can be seen 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 contest on 101.3 The Game and 1013TheGame.com with Jake Marsh on the call.