Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Sixth-seeded Vermont dropped its National Invitational Tournament (NIT) first round game at third-seeded Middle Tennessee 91-64 on Tuesday night. The Catamounts end the year with a 27-8 record, their second-highest single season win total in school history. The Blue Raiders will move on to face second-seeded Louisville in the second round.
Anthony Lamb guided the Catamounts with 18 points. The sophomore shot 8-of-14 from the floor and grabbed three rebounds. Urquhart finished with 16 points and matched a team-high with five rebounds.
Middle Tennessee’s Giddy Potts had a big night with a game-high 25 points on 9-of-16 shooting, including 6-of-11 from long range. Nick King followed with 16 points and Brandon Walters was right behind King with 15 points. Antwain Johnson rounded out four Blue Raiders in double figures with 14 points.
New to the NIT this year, the games were divided into four 10-minute quarters compared to two 20-minute halves during the regular season.
Potts scored five of the Blue Raiders’ first 12 points and helped Middle Tennessee jump out to a 12-5 lead at the midway point of the first quarter. Lamb provided a spark off the bench for the Catamounts with six quick points as UVM went on a 16-4 run and held a 21-16 advantage after the first quarter.
The Blue Raiders shot an impressive 73.3% (11-for-15) in the second quarter. MT tied the game at 25-25 within the first three minutes of the period after mounting a 9-4 run. After the NIT foes traded baskets for the next three minutes, Middle Tennessee went on an 11-4 run in the final 4:37 and took a 41-33 lead into the break.
Middle Tennessee carried its momentum into the third quarter by shooting 76.5% (13-for-17) and led 73-42 after three periods of play.
The Catamounts outscored the Blue Raiders 22-18 in the final frame but could not make up any ground as MT kept its lead above the 20-point mark for duration of the contest.
The defeat marked the final game for six seniors – Trae Bell-Haynes, Payton Henson, Nate Rohrer, Drew Urquhart, David Urso, and Cam Ward. The Class of 2018 will graduate with 99 career victories under their belt – the most wins by a graduating class in program history.