Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
ALBANY, N.Y. – The Catamounts overcame a 17-point first-half deficit and erased a double-digit deficit in the second half to beat Albany 72-67 on Thursday night. Vermont improves to 20-5 overall and records its 10th straight 20-win season. Albany drops to 18-8 on the year and 6-5 in league play.
The Green and Gold stand at 10-0 in the America East standings and kept their 31-game regular season conference winning streak intact. UVM also extended its overall winning streak to a baker’s dozen 13 games. The Cats were efficient at the line by shooting 100% (20-for-20) for the first time since Nov. 18, 2007.
The Catamounts had scoring coming from all angles as Trae Bell-Haynes led the way with a game-high 20 points. The senior dished out five assists and grabbed four rebounds. Drew Urquhartcame close to a double-double with 19 points, eight boards, and matched Bell-Haynes with five assists. Ernie Duncan added 15 points and four rebounds while younger brother Everett Duncanposted 10 points. Payton Henson had a solid outing with eight points and seven boards.
David Nichols led the Great Danes with 18 points and six assists. Joe Cremo followed with 16 points and nine assists. Travis Charles recorded 12 points and Devonte Campbell rounded out four Albany players in double figures with 10 points.
The two rivals went toe-to-toe in the opening minutes as the score was deadlocked at 9-9 by the 16:43 mark. Albany produced its largest lead of the night at 30-13 with a 21-4 run over an 11-minute stretch. The Catamounts managed to cut the deficit to single digits by the end of the half after the Great Danes were called for goaltending on a Bell-Haynes layup in the final seconds.
Vermont crawled back into the game with a 15-6 run to begin the second half and knotted the score up at 41-41 by the 16-minute media timeout. The Great Danes countered with eight unanswered points and created another double-digit lead with 12:12 left to play. The Cats answered once again with a 13-2 run and grabbed their first lead since early in the first half afterEverett Duncan made a pair at the charity stripe.
UVM and Albany traded baskets down the stretch but the Cats held a 70-67 advantage in the final minutes after making four clutch free throws. Cremo had a chance to tie the game for Albany with 13 ticks left in the contest, but his long-distance attempt went in-and-out of the hoop. Ernie Duncan came down with the defensive rebound to seal the victory.
With the victory, the Cats Win, Community Wins campaign and Vermont Mutual Insurance Group will donate another $100 to the Boys and Girls Club of Burlington, bringing this year’s total to 92 wins and $9,200.
Vermont will return to Patrick Gym to host UMass Lowell on Sunday (Feb. 11). The opening tip is set for 2 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.