Hoop Cats Come Up Just Short at Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. The UVM men's basketball team nearly upset fourth-ranked Kentucky after drawing with three points in the final minute, but the Wildcats pulled out a 73-69 win on Sunday afternoon in Vermont's regular season opener.

The Catamounts had four players record double digits. Trae Bell-Haynes scored a team-high 16 points on 8-of-15 shooting. Anthony Lamb followed with 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Drew Urquhart added 13 points after making 5-of-8 attempts from the floor and Ernie Duncan posted 10 points after draining three triples.

Kentucky was fueled by a double-double from PJ Washington. The freshman recorded a game-high 17 points and tallied 10 boards. Hamidou Diallo trailed with 16 points and Quade Green contributed 15 points. Kevin Knox rounded out four Wildcats in double figures with 11 points and eight rebounds.

The Cats opened the new season with a bucket on their first possession, but the Wildcats reeled off a 13-2 run in a six-and-a-half-minute span. Over the next three minutes, UVM fought back and took a 16-15 lead after Skyler Nash drained a three-pointer.

Big Blue Nation responded with eight unanswered points, but once again Vermont kept it within a two-possession game after Bell-Haynes banked a layup off the glass. In the final five minutes, Kentucky closed the first half on a 10-4 run for a 36-24 advantage at the break.

UVM converted 10 of its first 11 shot attempts to begin the second half, but UK kept pace and held onto a two-figure lead until the midway point of the final frame. The Green and Gold hung around and whittled the deficit to a one-possession game after Urquhart hit a three-pointer from the left wing at the four-minute mark.

In the final 30 seconds, the Cats trailed 72-69 and had a pair of chances to tie the game but could not connect on a game-tying shot from long range.

Vermont will spend next weekend at The Islands of the Bahamas Showcase, beginning with a first round matchup against Bradley on Friday (Nov. 17). The opening tip is set for 11 a.m. (EST). The entire tournament will be streamed through FloHoops.com on a pay-per-view subscription. All Vermont regular season games can be heard on 101.3 ESPN FM and online at 1013ESPN.com with Sam Hyman on the call.

Story Courtesy: UVM Athletics
Video Courtesy: WKYT