Men’s Hoop: O’Day’s Monster Night Powers UVM Past Hartford

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

West Hartford, Conn. – Five Catamounts scored in double figures led by a career-high 24 from senior Ethan O’Day and the Vermont men’s basketball team got back to its winning ways defeating Hartford on the road, 83-68. UVM improves to 10-8 overall and 2-1 in America East play with its third straight road win while Hartford falls to 6-12 and 1-2 in league action.

O’Day put together one of the best performances of his career pouring in his 24 points on a swift 10-of-13 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds and a career-high six blocks. The double-double was the third of his career and the ten rebounds also give him 500 for his career. He is the 13th Catamount to score over 1,000 points and grab 500 rebounds in his career.

Cam Ward finished the night with 17 points, seven assists and five rebounds off the bench while the Duncan brothers combined for 26 points in the win – Ernie with 15 and Everett with a career-best 11. Kurt Steidl also reached double-figures chipping in with 11, as well.

For Hartford, Pancake Thomas led the way with 29 points – 21 of which came in the first half. Jalen Ross finished with nine points for the Hawks.

O’Day and the Catamounts got off to a fast start jumping out to a nine-point lead just five minutes into the first half. The senior big man scored eight points right off the bat while Ernie Duncan pumped in six in the early going. His bucket off an inbounds pass gave the Cats a 14-5 lead with 15:48 left in the half.

Everett Duncan came off the bench to drill back-to-back three pointers to put UVM up 17 at the 11:07 mark.

Hartford held Vermont scoreless for the next four minutes and clawed back to within 11 on a trifecta from JR Lynch. O’Day righted the ship for the Cats with two free throws to push the lead back to 13.

Hartford, however, caught fire to end the half to the tune of six three pointers in the last 5:44 come all the back and take a 42-39 lead into the locker room.

The Catamounts made just two field goals in the final 11:08 of the first half and Hartford made nine threes in the first 20 minutes.

UVM came out of the locker room swarming and began the second half on an 11-2 run. O’Day scored four points during the spurt and Ernie Duncan buried a three to put Vermont up 53-46 at the 15:17 mark.

The lead got back to double digits for the Catamounts when Ernie Duncan collected an errant pass and found Cam Ward in transition for a layup plus a foul. Vermont led 62-52 with 8:45 left. The younger Duncan brother then buried his third three of the game and Ward followed suit and drilled one from way beyond the arc with the shot clock expiring to push the lead back to 17 with under six minutes to go.

Hartford got the lead back to within nine with 2:18 on the clock but Vermont made its free throws down the stretch and earned its 13th straight road victory over Hartford.

The Catamounts will have just one day off before taking the hardwood again on Monday night when the UMass Lowell Riverhawks come to Burlington for a 7 p.m. tipoff. All the action can be seen on AmericaEast.TV live and for free in HD. AJ Kanell will have the radio call on ESPN 101.3 FM starting at 6:30.

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