Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
BURLINGTON, Vt. – In a rematch of last year’s America East Championship Game, the UVM men’s basketball team, playing without concussed leading scorer Anthony Lamb, suffered its first conference loss of the season with a 74-61 setback against defending champion UMBC on Wednesday night. The Catamounts slip to 15-5 on the year and 5-1 in the league standings. The Retrievers move to 12-9 overall and 4-2 in conference play.
“We were just outplayed on both sides of the ball so I give UMBC credit for that,” Cioffi Men’s Basketball Head Coach John Becker said. “We struggled to score and we’ve got to be able to play better than we did tonight.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Catamounts were on fire to begin the game with four triples on their first four possessions – a trio from Everett Duncan and one more from Stef Smith.
The Retrievers crawled back with an 8-2 run and drew within 14-10 at the 13:28 mark. The two rivals traded scores for most of the period but UMBC tied the game at 29-29 with 2:22 left in the half.
In the final seconds of the first half, Ben Shungu (5 points, 2 steals) canned a three-pointer from the right side of the arc then UMBC’s Brandon Horvath (3 points) tied the game at 32-32 with a fadeaway trey in front of the UVM bench to beat the shot clock.
UMBC carried its momentum into the second half and produced a 14-0 run through the 12-minute media timeout.
Facing a 17-point deficit with nine minutes to play, Vermont cut UMBC’s lead to single digits with a 17-7 run with 3:46 left to play.
The Retrievers put the game out of reach with a 14-9 surge over the last three minutes of regulation.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Ernie Duncan logged his second straight 20-point effort with a game-high 20 points. The redshirt senior made four triples on the night. He also became the 16th Catamount to crack the 1,300-career point mark and moved into sole possession of third on the school’s all-time list with 272 three-pointers.
Younger brother Everett Duncan recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. He shot 5-of-11 from the floor and made three attempts from behind the arc.
Smith added 11 points with one rebound and one assist.
The loss snaps a six-game overall and home winning streak.
Ernie, Everett, and Robin Duncan became the second trio of brothers to ever start in the same Division I men’s basketball game, joining Villanova’s Larry, Keith, and Reggie Herron on Feb. 26, 1977.
Vermont will head to Long Island to face Stony Brook on Saturday (Jan. 26). The opening tip is set for 7 p.m. Fans can purchase tickets on StonyBrookAthletics.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.