Vermont redshirt sophomore guard Ernie Duncan set a career-high with 33 points and made seven three-pointers in an 87-73 win over Hofstra on Tuesday night in the Gulf Coast Showcase semifinal round.
UVM improves its record to 5-1 overall, its hottest start since the 2010-11 season, while Hofstra drops to 2-3 on the year.
The Catamounts had a strong offensive showing by shooting 53.6% (30-for-56) from the floor and 50.0% (10-of-20) from beyond the arc. Vermont's defense shut down Hofstra's long distance shooting, one of the best in the country. Hofstra came into the game shooting 41.3% from three-point land, but UVM held the Pride to only 21.1% (4-of-19).
Duncan reached his new career totals on 10-of-16 shooting and made 7-of-10 attempts from beyond the arc. Duncan was also a perfect 6-for-6 at the charity stripe and tallied five rebounds. Payton Henson recorded double figures for the fifth time this season with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Henson grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and swatted away a Hofstra shot. Kurt Steidl was the third Catamount to register double digits with 10 points, two assists, and made a pair of three-pointers.
Eli Pemberton scored a team-high 21 points for Hofstra on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor and 9-of-11 from the line. Justin Wright-Foreman added 16 points and Deron Powers contributed 10 points for the Pride. The nation's fourth-best rebounder, Rokas Gustys, was close to a double-double with nine points and eight rebounds.
The two sides kept the game close for most of the first half, but the Catamounts built a 10-point lead at the 8:21 mark behind a pair of Duncan three-point attempts. Vermont manufactured a 24-13 run through the remainder of the period and went into the locker room with a comfortable 49-28 lead.
In the second half, UVM pushed the lead to as much as a 24-point advantage at the 16:38 mark but Hofstra did not go down without a fight. In the next five minutes, the Pride went on a 16-6 run and closed the gap to 61-48 but the Catamounts' hot shooting did not cool down in the final period by making 4-of-7 attempts from long range.
Vermont plays Houston in the Gulf Coast Showcase title game on Wednesday (Nov. 23) at 7 p.m.
Courtesy: UVM Athletics/CatamounTV
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