Junior Niki Taylor posted her second straight double-double with game-highs of 23 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Vermont Catamounts to a 95-82 win over UMass Lowell in the America East opener for both teams. It was also the first-ever conference game for the River Hawks who joined the league this season. Vermont improves to 3-3 with its second straight win and begins league play with a 1-0 mark. UMass Lowell falls to 0-7 overall and 0-1 in America East.
The Catamounts were efficient offensively today. Taylor set her new career-high of 23 points in 24 minutes, while Kayla Burchill matched her career-high with 20 points in 20 minutes off the bench. Freshman Kylie Butler set new career-highs with 18 points and 12 rebounds for her first career double-double in a Vermont uniform.
Shannon Samuels led the River Hawks with 18 points. Teammates Nicole Hayner and Lindsey Doucette added 16 and 10 points, respectively, to round out the leading scorers for UMass Lowell.
In an up-tempo game, the River Hawks scored the first basket of the contest and UVM responded with a 10-0 run to take a 10-2 lead at the 14:42 mark of the first half. UMass Lowell cut the lead to four with 10:31 remaining, but the Catamounts responded with an 11-0 run to push their lead to 15 with just over eight minutes remaining in the half. UMass Lowell out scored Vermont 11-6 over the final 4:01 of the half, but could only get as close as seven and UVM took a 47-38 lead into the break.
The Catamounts opened the second half with an 18-2 run to push their lead to 23, 65-42, seven minutes into the stanza. UVM's lead ballooned to 30 at the 7:27 mark following another 16-2 run that was capped by a Jordan Eisler jumper.
The River Hawks employed a full court press and out scored Vermont 26-7 during a span of 5:37, but could only climb back within 11, 88-77, with 1:50 remaining in the contest. The Catamounts were able to push their lead back to 15 in the closing minute to post their second straight victory.
Vermont finished the game shooting 52.5 percent from the field in the game and was 24-for-34 from the foul line. The Catamounts dominated the River Hawks on the boards, out rebounding UMass Lowell 62-28.
UVM returns to action on December 8 when it hosts Central Connecticut at 2 p.m. at Patrick Gymnasium.
Courtesy: UVM Athletics
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