Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
BURLINGTON– Trae Bell-Haynes tied a career-high with 21 points to lead four Catamounts in double figures and the Vermont men’s basketball team got in the win column for the first time this season, winning its home opener, 83-70, over Quinnipiac. UVM moves to 1-2 on the season while Quinnipiac falls to 0-2.
Vermont is now 4-1 in home openers under Men’s Basketball Coach John Becker.
Bell Haynes shot seven-of-twelve from the field, drilled a pair of 3-pointers and went five-of-six at the line to match a career-high set against New Hampshire last February. Ethan O’Day contributed 19 points and six boards in the win while Darren Payen and Nate Rohrer both played their best games of the young season finishing with 14 and 13 points, respectively.
Giovanni McClean led Quinnipiac with 18 points.
Quinnipiac opened the game shooting five-of-seven from the field and jumped out to an 8-3 lead in the early going. Bell-Haynes connected on two 3-pointers over the first eight minutes and Darren Payen was smooth in the post hitting four-of-five shots in that stretch for eight points to get the Catamounts back in the game.
Vermont went on a 17-3 run over the next five minutes highlighted by an O’Day jump hook, a Rohrer long ball and an O’Day transition bucket on a feed from Ernie Duncan to take a 33-23 lead with 5:17 to play in the first half.
Bell-Haynes pumped in 14 points in the first 20 minutes while Payen tied a regular season career-high from his time at Hofstra with 12 points in the first half.
UVM built its biggest lead of the day, 13, at the start of the second half and led 49-36 with 17 minutes to play. Quinnipiac cut into the lead and trimmed it to seven on an old-fashion three-point play from Chaise Daniels and then to four on a deep three-pointer from Daniel Harris.
An O’Day elbow jumper pushed the lead back up to ten and then to 11, 68-57, with 5:40 to play when Duncan drilled a triple in semi-transition that got the Patrick crowd going and forced a Quinnipiac timeout.
Vermont scored 15 points in the final three-plus minutes as the lead ballooned to as many as 17 down the stretch.
Next up for the Catamounts is a pair of games at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut as part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Tipoff Tournament. Vermont takes on Niagara Saturday, Nov. 21 at 5 p.m. and then plays either Buffalo or North Carolina A&T on Sunday. Both games can be seen on ESPN3 or the WatchESPN app and heard locally on 101.3 ESPN.