Vermont Escapes With 2 Point Win Over UNH

January 10th, 2007

DURHAM, N.H. – Freshman Marqus Blakely (Metuchen, N.J.) hit a three-pointer as the horn sounded to give the University of Vermont men’s basketball team a 62-60 come from behind victory on the road over New Hampshire in America East action on Tuesday night. The Catamounts trailed by as many as 15 in the second half, but pulled out their fifth straight victory and seventh in their last eight to improve to 10-5 overall and 2-0 in league play.

Trailing by one, 59-58, UNH’s Jermaine Anderson was fouled with 5.7 second remaining. The senior calmly sunk two and after a Vermont timeout, the inbounds went to sophomore Mike Trimboli (Norwalk, Conn.) who dribbled to half court where he was double-teamed. Trimboli then found Blakely on the opposite side of the court and the freshman caught it and fired over New Hampshire’s Blagoj Janev right before the buzzer. The three was the first of Blakely’s career in only his second career attempt.

“I thought we showed a lot of mental toughness being down double digits with seven minutes left,” said Vermont head coach Mike Lonergan. “We showed a lot of character to not give up and we were fortunate enough to battle and stay in the game. The final shot was a lucky play, but we will take it.”

Vermont trailed by 15 at 43-28 4:32 in to the second half, but the Catamounts battled back using a 13-2 run to make it 45-41 UNH with 9:38 remaining. Freshman Joe Trapani (Madison, Conn.) had five in the run while junior Timothy McCrory (Pascagoula, Miss.) tacked on four. As quickly as UVM bounced back New Hampshire tallied the next six points to re-extend its lead to 10 at 51-41.

UVM did not quit though as the Catamounts rattled off 11 straight points over the next 3:15 to take their first lead of the game at 52-51. Neither team would lead by more then two for the remainder of the contest.

With 52 ticks left on the clock, Trimboli scooped a lay-up under a defender to put the Cats on top 57-56. Janev was fouled on the next possession and sunk two free throws to put UNH back on top by one with 25 seconds to go. On the other end Trimboli missed a shot but senior Chris Holm (Henderson, Nev.) was there for the rebound and was fouled. The 45.9 percent shooter from the line stepped up and sunk a pair, setting up the wild finish.

The Wildcats (4-11, 1-2 America East) jumped out to an early 13-2 lead just 3:53 into the contest as Janev scored nine of the 13 and 11 of the UNH’s first 15 points in the contest. Trailing 17-6, the Catamounts clawed their way back into the game and jump shot by Trimboli cut it to two at 26-24. UNH would score the final seven points of the frame though to take a 33-24 lead into intermission.

Janev hit all seven shots he took in the first half, including going 5-for-5 from three, for 19 points. McCrory kept Vermont in the game surpassing his season high in the first half alone with seven points. The Wildcats had only three players score in the opening stanza until Tyrece Gibbs scored their final bucket of the half on a jumper.

Besides Janev, the rest of the team hit only 5-of-19 from the floor and 0-for-9 from three in the first 20 minutes, but the Wildcats only turned the ball over twice.

Trimboli ended up leading the Catamounts in scoring with 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting, while McCrory posted a career-high 11 off the bench. Trapani and Holm each chipped in with nine, with Holm’s all coming in the second half. Vermont won despite a huge night from Janev who finished 11-for-11 for a career-high 31 points, while Anderson was the only other Wildcat in double-figures with 12.

Vermont committed a season-low six turnovers in the contest and out-rebounded UNH 32-29.

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