Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
BURLINGTON — New Hampshire’s defensive pressure helped the Wildcats pull away from Vermont in the fourth quarter as they defeated the Catamounts 59-51 Wednesday afternoon in the annual Catamount Classroom Game presented by VSAC. With the win the Wildcats improved to 4-4 in conference this season while the Catamounts fell to 3-5.
“This game came down to digging deep and fighting and UNH had the upper hand,” said Head Coach Alisa Kresge. “There is no doubt we have talent but we are struggling against physicality and it’s something we need to embrace and find a way.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Wildcats jumped out to an early 5-0 advantage but the Catamounts quickly responded with the largest run of the first half, 7-0, behind a three-pointer from Hanna Crymble and layups from Sarah Wells and Emma Utterback. UNH took a one-point advantage into the second quarter after a closely contested ten minutes.
With 5:59 left in the second quarter the Wildcats took a five-point edge with a layup from Helena Delaruelle. Carly Whiteside scored the next four points for UVM and Emma Utterback converted two free throws to tie the game back up at 27. The Wildcats closed the half on a 5-0 run to take a 32-27 edge to the intermission.
Caroline Soucy capped a 6-0 run for the Wildcats at the start of the third quarter as they took a 38-29 lead with 6:24 left in the frame. The Catamounts co-captains responded taking over with a 10-2 run. Crymble and Larkins each had five points to pull the Catamount back within one. The Wildcats took a three-point advantage to the fourth quarter.
Vermont scored the only four points of the first four minutes of the final quarter from the free throw line to take a 46-45 lead. UNH dialed up the pressure midway through the quarter. Utterback was called for two offensive fouls in just 39 seconds, a part of eight UVM turnovers in the final six minutes. The Wildcats seized the opportunity and went on a 6-0 run that the Catamounts weren’t able to recover from.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
The Catamounts interior defense, the best in America East, continued this afternoon as a team UVM had seven blocks. Hanna Crymble had a team-high three blocks, adding to her team-leading total of 44 this season.
Vermont welcomed 13 different schools totaling over 1,500 students ranging from preschool to middle school. Schools from Highgate, Swanton, South Burlington, Fairfield, Charlotte, Burlington, Essex, Underhill and Huntington were a part of the special atmosphere today.
Vermont is back home on Saturday (February 1) as they host UAlbany at 2 p.m. on Alumnae Day. Alumnae are invited to a pregame reception starting at 12 p.m. After the game, Vermont Women’s Basketball will host alumnae at a post-game reception at Halvorson’s Upstreet Café on Church St from 4-7 p.m. Alumnae are asked to register at go.uvm.edu/wbbalum and can contact our Victory Club office at Victory.Club@uvm.edu or 802-656-0956 with any questions. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3. Fans can also listen to the contest on WVMT AM 620/96.3 FM with Maura Sheridan on the call.