Women’s Hoop: Fourth Quarter Rally Carries Vermont Past NJIT

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

NEWARK, N.J. – A late, fourth-quarter rally by the Catamounts at Estelle and Zoom Fleisher Athletic Center lifted Vermont (4-6) past the NJIT Highlanders (3-10) 54-46 on Sunday afternoon.

“As we continue to grow and get better as a team, I’m incredibly proud of the defensive identity we are creating,” said head coach Lori Gear McBride. “Our kids are working hard and believing in themselves and that is very meaningful.”

Andreana Thomas posted double-figures for the sixth time this season scoring 15 points and grabbing five rebounds. Kylie Atwood registered a career-high 14 points with four 3-pointers and Courtney Wright grabbed a team-best eight rebounds.

“Dre has shaken off the rust from her preseason injury and is showing the unique talent that she possesses,” Gear McBride noted. “With every game she plays, she demonstrates that more and asserts herself as a leader at a higher level.”

Alana Dudley and Leah Horton recorded 11 and 10 points, respectively, for the Highlanders. Camerin Spahn picked up eight rebounds for a team best.

NJIT jumped out to a four point lead to open up game action, but Atwood answered back with a 3-pointer to put the Catamounts on the board. Thomas knocked down a pair from the charity stripe followed by a buzzer-beating jumper to keep Vermont within two of the Highlanders (19-17) after one quarter.

Back-to-back buckets from downtown gave NJIT its largest lead of the game, 31-21, with 2:54 left to play in the half. NJIT’s Briana Picard added seven points in the remaining minutes, closing out the half ahead 33-22.

Vermont found its rhythm again in the third quarter posting a 12-2 run, to bring UVM within one possession of NJIT, 40-38. Five Catamounts went 4-for-7 from the field and 4-for-5 from the foul line over the five-minute run before the final quarter.

Sydney Smith dished a quick pass to Candice Wright to give Vermont its first lead of the game (44-42) with 5:28 left to play. A late 10-2 push by UVM in the final three minutes, as Atwood sunk her fourth triple, secured UVM’s eight-point victory over the Highlanders.

“The combination of the seniors’ steadiness in our backcourt, complemented by the young talent in this program, is really coming together,” said Gear McBride.

UVM continues its four-game road trip at Delaware on Tuesday, Dec. 22 at 6 p.m. then travels to Boston University to take on the Terriers on Dec. 28 at 2 p.m. Radio coverage at Delaware begins 20 minutes prior to tip-off at 5:40 p.m. on WVMT 620-AM and SportsJuice.com.

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