Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – Vermont was within striking distance down the stretch in the second half but Marquette pulled away late and dealt a 91-81 decision to the Catamounts on Tuesday night. The Green and Gold drop to 6-3 on the season while the Golden Eagles improve to 6-3.
Stef Smith had a career night for UVM with 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting and the freshman was a perfect 6-for-6 from long distance. Smith also gathered four rebounds and handed out three assists. Payton Henson added 11 points and six rebounds while Anthony Lamb and Trae Bell-Haynestallied 10 points apiece.
Marquette used a game-high 34 points and six boards from Markus Howard to reach the win column. Sam Hauser dropped 14 points with three triples and Andrew Rowsey was the third Golden Eagle in double figures with 13 points off the bench.
The Golden Eagles built a 15-7 lead through the opening five minutes but the Cats turned to their bench for a spark. Cam Ward drained a long ball from the top of the arc and Smith hit back-to-back three-pointers to get UVM within 21-18 near the midway point of the period.
Later in the half, Vermont faced a 40-34 deficit but the Catamounts scored five quick points afterErnie Duncan buried a triple and Lamb made a tough layup in the paint. In the final minute of the period, Lamb stole the ball away from MU and Bell-Haynes sprinted downcourt for the fast break layup but Marquette held a 42-41 lead at the break.
Marquette opened the second half with a 10-0 run but once again Vermont battled back into the game. Smith sank another long distance shot and capped off an 11-4 run as the Catamounts drew within 54-52 with 13 minutes left to play.
The Cats were within striking distance at the 5:16 mark when Duncan made all three attempts at the charity stripe after he was fouled on a three-point attempt. Duncan’s three free throws helped UVM whittle the deficit to 80-76. MU answered with a 9-2 surge in the last three minutes for a double-digit lead to put the game away.
Vermont wraps up its five-game road trip at Northeastern on Saturday (Dec. 9). The opening tip is set for 4 p.m. in Beantown. Fans can purchase tickets at Tickets.GoNU.com and free live video will be available at GoNUXStream.com. All Vermont regular season games can be heard on 101.3 ESPN FM and online at 1013ESPN.com with Sam Hyman on the call.