Men’s Hoop: Riverhawks Surprise Catamounts at Patrick Gym

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

BURLINGTON – UMass Lowell used a balanced attack with six players scoring in double figures to outgun Vermont and hand the Catamounts their second straight loss at Patrick Gym, 93-82. The loss drops Vermont to 2-2 in league play and 10-9 overall while the Riverhawks improve to 3-2 in conference action and 7-11 overall.

In his first game action since Dec. 8, Dre Wills returned to the Vermont lineup in a big way finishing with a career-high 22 points and four rebounds. Ethan O’Day chipped in with 12 points to go along with seven rebounds while Trae Bell-Haynes, Everett Duncan (both with 11 points) and Cam Ward (10 points) all found double digits.

Jahad Thomas led the way for UMass Lowell collecting 14 points and nine rebounds. Logan Primerano scored a team-high 17 points including some key buckets down the stretch, most notably a follow-slam midway through the second half.

After the Catamounts got out to a 6-3 lead on two buckets from Wills, UMass Lowell went on the offensive. A 13-0 spurt put the Riverhawks up 16-6 before Drew Urquhart stopped the bleeding momentarily with a layup at the 12:54 mark.

From there, Lowell used good offensive movement and the Catamounts could not gain much ground. Ryan Jones converted in transition to give his team a 14-point cushion. Vermont cut into the deficit thanks to 11 first half points from Bell-Haynes but Thomas scored eight points in the final 2:45 putting UML up 45-34 at the half.

The Riverhawks shot a blistering 59.3% from the field in the first 20 minutes and had 11 assists to Vermont’s two.

UMass Lowell started the second half on a 10-4 run and took its largest lead of the game when Isaac White converted a pair of free throws to put his team up 55-38 with 16:41 to play.

Vermont clawed back to within six using an 11-0 stretch keyed by two Duncan triples to force a Riverhawk timeout and get ignite the Patrick crowd. The lead went back to as many as 12 before Wills took over. The junior guard scored nine straight points over a two minute span and the UMass Lowell lead was down to three with 3:31 remaining.

Lowell delivered the dagger about a minute later, however, when Matt Harris pulled up and drilled a three-pointer to put the game out of reach.

The win was UMass Lowell’s first over Vermont in the very brief all-time series.

Vermont has two days off before heading back out on the road for a contest against Binghamton on Thursday. Tipoff from the Events Center in Binghamton is set for 7 p.m. and all the action can be seen on AmericaEast.TV with local radio coverage on ESPN 101.3 FM beginning at 6:30.

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