Hoopcats claim second straight regular season title

Wednesday, February 21st

BURLINGTON, Vt. – The UVM men's basketball program clinched its eighth America East regular season championship in program history with a 75-54 win over Binghamton on Wednesday night. With UMBC's loss to Stony Brook, the Catamounts earned the outright regular season conference title.

Vermont improves to 23-6 on the year and 13-1 in the league standings. The victory helped the Green and Gold claim home court advantage and the No. 1 overall seed in the upcoming America East Tournament. Binghamton drops to 11-18 overall and 2-11 in conference play.

UVM honored its six seniors before the game for Senior Night, presented by Aerie Consulting. The Class of 2018 includes Trae Bell-Haynes, Payton Henson, Nate Rohrer, Drew Urquhart, David Urso, and Cam Ward.

The seniors had a big night and combined for 55 points. Drew Urquhart recorded his fourth career double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Urquhart shot 7-of-11 from the floor and blocked three shots. Ernie Duncan matched Urquhart with 18 points and drained four triples. He also became the 37th Catamount to score over 1,000 career points. Henson followed with a solid performance of his own on 15 points, a game-high seven assists, and five boards. Bell-Haynes rounded out four UVM players in double figures with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting.

Fard Muhammad led the Bearcats with 12 points, four rebounds, and three assists. Caleb Stewart added 10 points and Thomas Bruce finished one point shy of a double-double with nine points and 13 boards.

The Bearcats came out firing and jumped out a 7-3 lead but the Catamounts quickly responded and evened the score at 11-11 with an 8-4 run by the 14:08 mark. After the conference foes went back-and-forth for the next four minutes, Vermont gained some breathing room with 10 unanswered points and built a 27-18 advantage with eight and half minutes left in the period. Binghamton managed to cut the deficit to single digits by the break as the Green and Gold led 34-27.

The Bearcats kept the Catamounts from pushing their lead to double digits for the early parts of the second half, but UVM broke free with a 15-0 run and led 57-35 near the midway point. UVM kept its advantage around the 20-point mark for most of the second half and reached the win column in the regular season home finale.

With the victory, the Cats Win, Community Wins campaign and Vermont Mutual Insurance Group will donate another $100 to the Boys and Girls Club of Burlington, bringing this year's total to 101 wins and $10,100.

Vermont will close out the regular season with a two-game road trip, beginning with Stony Brook on Saturday (Feb. 24).