Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
BURLINGTON – The UVM men’s basketball team suffered its first regular season conference loss in over two years as Hartford defeated Vermont 69-68 on Sunday afternoon at Patrick Gym. The Catamounts drop to 22-6 overall and 12-1 in the league standings. The Hawks improve to 16-11 on the season and 9-4 in America East play.
Drew Urquhart recorded his second double-double of the season with a team-high 15 points and 10 rebounds. He was 6-of-8 from the floor with five assists and swatted away three shots. Payton Henson and Trae Bell-Haynes added 12 points apiece. Henson grabbed six boards and dished out a pair of assists. Bell-Haynes collected three rebounds and made all six trips to the line.
Hartford had four players record double figures as Jason Dunne led all scorers with 26 points. Dunne shot 8-of-16 and hit five triples. George Blagojevic scored 13 points on 4-of-4 shooting with six boards. J.R. Lynch posted 12 points and John Carroll rounded the scoring spree with 10 points.
The Hawks made their first five attempts from the floor and started the game on a 9-0 run. Urquhart hit a jumper in the lane to get the Cats on the scoreboard, but Hartford continued its hot start with a three-pointer from Lynch. Vermont regrouped and took its first lead of the afternoon at 25-23 after mounting a 21-9 run. The pair traded baskets for the final five minutes of the period and the Cats went into the break leading 34-33.
The conference rivals went back-and-forth for most of the second half but the Green and Gold managed to build a 64-56 lead with six and a half minutes left in regulation. The Hawks responded with a 13-4 run and grabbed a 69-68 lead at the 1:41 mark after Hassan Attia threw down a one-handed dunk from the low block.
The score stood until the final seconds when the Catamounts had one last chance to win the game. Bell-Haynes drove into the paint, but his layup was blocked by Carroll. Urquhart tracked down the loose ball, passed to Henson on the baseline, who attempted the game-winning layup but the shot was deflected by Blagojevic.
UVM also had its 22-game home winning streak and 15-game overall winning streak come to an end with the setback.
Vermont will honor its six seniors for Senior Night, presented by Aerie Consulting, against Binghamton on Wednesday (Feb. 21). The opening tip is set for 7 p.m. Single game tickets are available for purchase at UVMathletics.com/Tickets or at the Patrick Gymnasium Box Office on gameday. 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.