Men’s Hoop: Cats Advance to Bahamas Showcase Championship Game, Beating Coastal Carolina 80-67

Courtesy Vermont Sports Imformation

NASSAU, The Bahamas – The UVM men’s basketball team earned a spot in the inaugural Islands of the Bahamas Showcase Championship Game with an 80-67 win over Coastal Carolina in the semifinal round on Saturday night. Vermont improves to 2-1 on the season while Coastal Carolina evens its record at 2-2.

The Catamounts knocked down 10 attempts from long range and shot 51.0% (25-for-49) overall from the floor. UVM’s defense turned 11 CCU turnovers into 21 points on the offensive end of the court.

Ernie Duncan scored a season-high 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting with six assists and four rebounds. Drew Urquhart set a new career-high with 15 points and made 4-of-7 attempts from the field. The senior hit 5-of-7 trips at the charity stripe and grabbed six rebounds. Trae Bell-Haynesmatched Urquhart with 15 points and dealt five assists.  Payton Henson had a solid night with 11 points and five rebounds.

Coastal Carolina’s Zac Cutherbertson recorded a double-double on a game-high 23 points and 13 rebounds. Jaylen Shaw posted 16 points and five assists while Artur Labinowicz followed with 10 points.

The two teams were neck-and-neck until the midway point of the first half. The Chanticleers built a 26-21 lead with eight and a half minutes left in the period. The Cats came roaring back after Henson polished off an and-one opportunity and Bell-Haynes drew Vermont within a point of tying the game on a free throw. In the final minute, Bell-Haynes dropped in a floater from the paint to give UVM the lead, but Shaw drained a three-pointer with four seconds left on the clock as Coastal Carolina went into the locker room with a 38-37 advantage.

The score remained tight through most of the second half until the Green and Gold scored nine unanswered points for a 63-54 lead with eight minutes left in the semifinal contest. Late in the game, Labinowicz connected on a three-pointer and kept UVM’s lead to single digits but the Catamounts reached the win column after closing out the game on a 7-2 run in the last two minutes for the final margin of victory.

Vermont will take on Northern Kentucky in the Islands of the Bahamas Showcase title game on Sunday (Nov. 19). The opening tip is set for 8 p.m. The entire tournament is streamed through with a pay-per-view subscription.