Men’s Hoop: UVM Edges Bradley 65-64 at Bahamas Showcase

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

NASSAU, The Bahamas –  UVM senior Trae Bell-Haynes made the game-winning free throw with 2.6 seconds left on the clock and gave Vermont a 65-64 victory over Bradley on Friday afternoon in the opening round of the Islands of the Bahamas Showcase.

The Catamounts reach the win column for the first time in 2017-18 and even their record at 1-1. The Braves suffer their first loss of the season and fall to 2-1.

The Green and Gold had four players in double figures as former high school teammates Stef Smith and Bell-Haynes led the way with 14 points apiece. Smith was 4-of-6 from the field, including three makes from long range, and dished out three assists. Bell-Haynes dealt a game-high five assists and recorded three rebounds. Payton Henson was one rebound shy of a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds, including four on the offensive glass. Drew Urquhartadded 10 points and five rebounds for the Cats off the bench.

Bradley had three players tally a dozen points – Darrell Brown, Elijah Childs, and Nate Kennell. Childs notched a double-double with 11 rebounds and two blocks to compliment his 12 points. Jayden Hodgson and Donte Thomas contributed eight points apiece.

The opening 20 minutes were tightly contested as neither squad held a lead larger than six points. The Braves went into the locker room with a 32-26 advantage at the break.

Vermont began the second half on a hot streak by draining three of its first six attempts in the first five minutes. Near the midway point of the period, Bell-Haynes split two Bradley defenders for an easy finish at the rim and sparked a 20-5 run over a seven-minute stretch.

The Braves trimmed the deficit down to 64-62 lead with 11 ticks remaining in regulation when Brown was sent to the charity stripe after drawing a foul on the baseline. Brown hit both free throws and tied the game at 64-64.

On UVM’s next trip down the floor, Bell-Haynes drove down the lane and forced Bradley to commit a foul with 2.6 seconds left in the game. The senior made one of two free throw attempts to give the Catamounts the late lead. On Bradley’s desperation full-court pass, Thomas got a shot off before the final buzzer but hit back iron.

Vermont will face Coastal Carolina on Saturday (Nov. 18) in the Islands of the Bahamas Showcase Semifinals. The opening tip is set for 5 p.m. The entire tournament is streamed through with a pay-per-view subscription.