Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
LOWELL, MA. – UVM redshirt junior Ernie Duncan scored a game-high 32 points as the Catamounts opened America East play with an 88-77 win at UMass Lowell on Thursday night. Vermont improves to 10-5 on the year while UMass Lowell drops to 6-8 on the season.
The Green and Gold never trailed and shot a season-high 58.8% (30-for-51) from the field. The 88-point performance was the most points scored by the Cats against a Division I opponent this season.
Duncan was nearly perfect from the floor on 10-of-11 shooting and hit 5-of-6 attempts from downtown. Drew Urquhart finished with a double-double on 19 points and 12 rebounds, including seven on the offensive glass. Payton Henson rounded out three UVM players in double figures with 15 points, six boards, and two blocks.
UMass Lowell’s Jahad Thomas was two points shy of matching Duncan with a team-high 30 points on 11-of-19 shooting. The redshirt senior also grabbed four rebounds and dished out four assists. Rinardo Perry followed with 15 points, five boards, and three assists. Ryan Jones added 12 points while Matt Harris posted 10 points for the River Hawks.
The Catamounts jumped out to a 12-5 lead through the opening five and a half minutes but the Rivers Hawks quickly got back into the game. Thomas scored four quick points and drew UML within 12-11 at the 13:10 mark. Vermont responded and pushed its lead to double digits after producing a 25-16 run over a 10-minute stretch. UVM went into the locker room leading 43-35 after Duncan sank a three at the buzzer.
In the second half, the River Hawks battled back and cut the deficit to 58-56 with 10:41 remaining in the contest. The two conference rivals kept the score within a two-possession game until the final two minutes. Thomas made a pair at the charity stripe and kept UML within 78-74, but UVM closed out the game on a 10-4 run – highlighted by an and-one from Urquhart after the senior put back an offensive rebound off a missed free throw and Duncan was 4-for-4 at the line in the last minute.
With the win, the Cats Win, Community Wins campaign and Vermont Mutual have donated another $100 to the Boys and Girls Club of Burlington, bringing this year’s total to 63 wins and $6,300 donated.
Vermont returns to Patrick Gym and hosts UMBC on Saturday (Jan. 6) in the America East 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 contest on ESPN3and 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.