BURLINGTON, Vt. Vermont lost the final game of the season 55-49 to Stony Brook on Tom Brennan Court at Patrick Gymnasium. For the Catamounts, it was Senior Day. UVM honored its four seniors in a pregame ceremony: Sydney Smith, Kristina White, Katie Lavell and Rachel Merrill. All four players started in their final game at Patrick Gym.
"It's so unfortunate that we couldn't get the win today for our seniors," said head coach Chris Day. "I am so proud of all they put into our program. We are excited for our third season of the year (post-season) which begins this Saturday against Albany."
UVM got off to a quick start and held an 18-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. In the opening period, the Catamounts won the battle on the interior, scoring 12 of those 18 points in the paint.
Stony Brook took advantage of the transition game in the second quarter, outscoring Vermont 15-5 to take a 26-23 halftime lead. After leading for 17 minutes in the first half, the Catamounts never led again. Stony Brook outscored UVM 29-26 in the second half to win the game by six points.
The Seawolves were led by their starting guards, who each scored in double-figures. Shania Johnson was the game-high scorer with 19 points. She played all 40 minutes and added seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. Meanwhile, Jerell Matthews added 14 points for Stony Brook.
The game's leading rebounder was Stony Brook's Cheyenne Clark, who ripped in 17 boards, including six on the offensive end.
For the Catamounts, Smith was their leading scorer with 13 points in her final game at Patrick Gym. Fellow captains and seniors White and Lavelle combined for six assists, and Lavelle scored seven points and collected five rebounds.
In her second start of the season, Merrill added four rebounds, with two of those boards on the offensive end.
Cassidy Derda added nine points, two rebounds and two assists for UVM. Hanna Crymble scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds in her lone game off the bench in the regular season. She finished the regular year with 23 double-digit scoring efforts in 29 games.
As a team, Vermont shot 33% from the field, 21% from downtown (7-34) and 67% at the free throw line (2-3). Meanwhile, Stony Brook went 37% from the floor, 21% from distance (4-19) and a perfect 7-7 at the foul line.
With the loss, Vermont finishes the regular season at 8-21 overall, 6-10 at home and 5-11 in America East play. Meanwhile, Stony Brook improves to 18-11 overall and 10-6 in conference play. UVM lost five straight games to conclude the 2017-18 regular season and finished a game behind its 9-20 record in 2016-17.
The Catamounts are the seven-seed in the America East Tournament, and will play the two-seed, Albany, at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday (March 3) at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, Maine. UVM is 1-1 against Albany this season. The Great Danes have won six consecutive America East titles and lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last season to top-seeded Connecticut.
The video broadcast for the 2017-18 America East Tournament quarterfinal matchup with Albany can be found on ESPN3. Per a contract with ESPN, every America East basketball game airs online on ESPN3
As always, Logan Ratick has the play-by-play call for Saturday night's America East postseason showdown between Albany and Vermont on CatamounTV.com, as well as the flagship station for UVM women's basketball, News/Talk 620 WVMT-AM. Pregame coverage begins at 5:40 p.m., with tip-off set for 6 p.m. from Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, Maine.
Courtesy: UVM Athletics