Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
NASSAU, Bahamas — For the second time in the tournament, UVM senior guard Trae Bell-Haynes scored the game-winning shot in the final seconds as the Catamounts won the inaugural Islands of the Bahamas Showcase with a 66-64 victory over Northern Kentucky on Sunday night.
Vermont improves to 3-1 after capturing the tournament crown while Northern Kentucky suffers its first loss of the season at 4-1.
Anthony Lamb registered a double-double after matching his career-high with 26 points and 14 rebounds. Lamb shot 10-for-14 from the floor with three steals along with a pair of blocks and assists. Trae Bell-Haynes set a new season-high with 19 points on 8-of-18 shooting and dished out three assists. Payton Henson added nine points while Ernie Duncan followed with eight points for the Cats.
Northern Kentucky had three players reach double figures. Lavone Holland II notched a team-high 14 points and six rebounds. Carson Williams scored 12 points and Drew McDonald finished with 10 points and six boards.
The Catamounts started the game strong by opening on a 7-0 run as Duncan scored five early points. The Norse fought back with a run of their own, jumping out to a 28-20 lead midway through the first half. Lamb helped the Green and Gold keep the game close with 16 points in the period, but NKU held a 35-33 advantage at halftime.
In the second half, the Norse slowly built a 13-point lead with nine minutes left in the title game. The Cats managed to erase the deficit and took a 64-62 lead at the 2:23 mark after putting together an 18-3 run.
In the final seconds, the score was tied at 64-64 when Bell-Haynes drove to the paint, burnt his defender with a crossover, and found nothing by nylon with a teardrop for the game-winner.
Bell-Haynes was honored as the Islands of the Bahamas Showcase Most Valuable Player and Duncan also made the All-Tournament Team. The duo was joined by McDonald, Coastal Carolina’s Zac Cuthbertson, and Iona’s Zack Lewis on the All-Tournament Team.
Vermont returns to Patrick Gym and hosts Maine-Fort Kent on Wednesday (Nov. 22) in the regular season home opener. The opening tip is set for 7 p.m. Single game tickets are available at UVMathletics.com/Tickets or at the Patrick Gym Box Office on gameday.
Fans can watch the game on ESPN3 and the watchESPN app by logging in with your television provider. All Vermont regular season games can be heard on 101.3 ESPN FM and online at 1013ESPN.com with Sam Hyman on the call.