Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
DURHAM, N.H. – UVM senior Trae Bell-Haynes recorded his third 20-point effort in the last four games as the Catamounts held off twin state rival New Hampshire 67-56 on Thursday night. The Green and Gold improve to 15-5 overall and sit atop the America East standings at 5-0.
Vermont also extended its record-setting regular season conference winning streak to 26 games and reached the win column for the eighth straight time. New Hampshire falls to 7-12 on the year and 3-2 in America East play.
Bell-Haynes scored a game-high 20 points with 18 points coming the second half. He was 7-of-11 from the field, pulled down four rebounds, and tallied a pair of steals. Ernie Duncan was close behind with 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting and knocked down four triples. Cam Ward notched his second consecutive double-digit performance with 10 points.
UNH was led by John Ogwuche’s team-high 17 points. Ogwuche shot 5-of-11 from the floor and hit a pair from long range. Tanner Leissner came into the night averaging 21.0 points per game in conference play, but the Cats held the senior to 14 points and only three points in the final period.
The early parts of the first half were a defensive battle as UVM only led 6-5 by the 16-minute media timeout. The Catamounts trailed for most of the period, but their defense kept the game within reach as UNH went into halftime with a 27-25 advantage.
In the second half, the two teams traded baskets in the early minutes but Vermont rattled off a 9-0 run and grabbed a 37-33 lead. With the scoreboard deadlocked at 39-39 by the 15:06 mark, the Catamounts mounted a 21-7 run over a 12-minute span for their largest lead of the evening as Bell-Haynes, Duncan, and Ward combined for 19 points during the scoring spree. The Cats’ offense was firing on all cylinders by shooting 65.0% (13-of-20) in the final frame while the defense held UNH to only 33.3% (9-of-27) shooting.
Bell-Haynes iced the game for UVM in the final minutes as the senior blocked a shot, gathered the loose ball, and sprinted up court for the easy fast-break layup.
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 72 wins and $7,200 donated.
Vermont will wrap up a two-game road trip at Hartford on Sunday (Jan. 21). The opening tip is set for 1 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase at HartfordHawks.com. Fans can watch the America East matchup 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.