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UVM avoids upset bid by Big Green - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

UVM avoids upset bid by Big Green

Wednesday, December 12th

BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Luke Apfeld drained two free throws with 30 seconds left to help lift the Vermont Catamounts to a 52-50 victory over Dartmouth in the 51st straight meeting between the two schools in non-conference men's basketball action at Patrick Gymnasium on Wednesday.

Vermont improves to 6-3 overall and has won 10 of its last 11 games at Patrick Gymnasium. Dartmouth falls to 2-5 and suffers its third straight loss.

The final six minutes of the contest saw three ties and four lead changes between the two teams. A pair of free throws by Dartmouth's Connor Boehm at the 5:22 mark knotted the game up, 44-44, and another shot from the charity stripe with 4:54 showing on the clock by Boehm gave the Big Green its first lead of the game since 13:29 of the first half.

After three consecutive possessions, that spanned a minute, resulted in a three-point play, two for UVM and one for Dartmouth, the Catamounts came out with a 50-48 lead with 3:42 remaining in the game.

Dartmouth's Alex Mitola hit a jumper in the lane with 49 seconds left to tie the game up, 50-50. Following a UVM timeout, Apfeld got the ball on the block and was able to draw a foul. Apfeld, who ranks fifth in America East in free throw percentage (84.4%), sank both tries from the line to give UVM a 52-50 advantage with 30 seconds remaining.

Dartmouth got off two 3-point attempts in the final seconds but neither fell for the Big Green.

"A very tough game tonight, give Dartmouth a lot of credit they played really well and made us work for everything," said Vermont head coach John Becker. "It wasn't pretty but we found a way. Last home game against Towson we didn't make the stops or the free throws to win that game and tonight we did that."

Dartmouth held a 6-3 lead at the 16:06 mark of the first half, but the Catamounts quickly erased the deficit with a 9-0 run to take a 12-8 advantage at the 10:54 mark. Vermont extended its run to 14-0 behind five points from Trey Blue and Rugg to push out to a nine-point lead with 8:57 left in the half.

Dartmouth responded with an 8-0 run of its own to climb back within one, 17-16, but UVM used a 7-0 spurt to push its lead to seven with 1:14 left in the half. The Big Green hit back-to-back shots, including a 3-pointer by John Golden at the halftime buzzer, to slice UVM's lead to two, 29-27, as the teams headed to the break.

Rugg came off the bench to led all scorers with 15 points, 12 in the first half. He had a perfect shooting night, going 4-for-4 from the field, 2-for-2 from 3-point range and 5-for-5 from the foul line. Blue reached double figures for the third straight game for the Catamounts. He finished with 13 points on 5-for-8 shooting and added six rebounds. Apfeld chipped in 13 points, including a 5-for-5 effort from the foul line, and four rebounds.

Gabas Maldunas led the Big Green with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Golden chipped in 12 points. Boehm finished the game with nine points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

--- UVM Sports Information

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