Wednesday, January 2nd
BURLINGTON, Vt. - Senior Lauren Buschman posted her first double-double of the season with 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead Vermont past New Hampshire, 63-60 in overtime, in the America East women's basketball opener for both teams at Patrick Gymnasium.
Vermont snaps a five-game losing streak and improves to 1-0 in league play and 4-10 overall. The Catamounts, who were playing their first home game in over a month, improve to 4-1 at Patrick Gymnasium this season. New Hampshire falls to 0-1 in America East and 5-8 on the year.
Kaylee Kilpatrick made one of two free throws with 1:54 remaining in the game to give New Hampshire a 52-50 lead. Vermont's Niki Taylor answered 11 seconds later with her first 3-pointer of the season to shove the Catamounts in front, 53-52. Taylor added a free throw with 53 seconds left to push UVM's lead to two, 54-52, but UNH answered with a layup from Morgan Frame with 38 seconds remaining to knot the game up at 54-54.
UNH had one last look in regulation, a 3-pointer from Cari Reed, with three seconds remaining, but it was off the mark and the two teams headed to overtime.
Sam Simonois hit a jumper to push Vermont out in front by two to start the extra session. The Wildcats would tie the game up three times in the overtime, including a layup by Kilpatrick 45 seconds left to knot the game up at 60, but could not take the lead. UVM went 3-for-4 from the foul line in the final 29 seconds, behind a pair of free throws from Tierra Shumpert and one more foul shot from Simononis, to seal the victory.
"This was a wonderful effort tonight from our team," said Vermont head coach Lori Gear McBride. "I'm very proud of the girls, Lauren Buschmann especially. She refused to lose tonight and put the team on her back and everyone followed. She led the team from a composure and experience standpoint and did what seniors do. It's so nice to see her play the way we all know she can play," continued Gear McBride.
"The growth of the team has been unbelievable. We've worked hard to create a new identity due to injuries and it has taken time. Tonight you saw a lot of the growth and we aren't done growing. Players are continuing to improve and feel comfortable out on the floor. I think we have a much better sense how we are going to be successful against teams in our league and we got a taste of that tonight," said Gear McBride.
In the first half, neither team was able to build more than a four-point advantage. A basket by Elizabeth Belanger with 59 seconds left gave UNH a 31-27 lead at halftime.
Vermont trailed 35-34 at the 16:59 mark of the second half when New Hampshire used an 10-1 run to open up a nine-point lead, the biggest by either team in the game, at the 9:19 mark. Vermont fought back and a 3-pointer by Shumpert with 2:58 left ignited a 9-3 spurt by the Catamounts to close out the half and force overtime.
Taylor matched her season-high with 15 points and Shumpert added 15 points and five assists for Vermont. Buschmann also collected a career-high five steals to go with her double-double performance.
Reed led three Wildcats in double figures with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Kelsey Hogan added 12 points and Morgan Frame chipped in 10 points and six rebounds.
Vermont returns to action on January 9 when it travels to Boston, Mass. for a contest against the Boston U Terriers.
--- UVM Sports Information
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