It was a playoff type atmosphere Thursday night night at Patrick Gym as the UVM men's basketball team made history. The Cats won their 14th straight game beating UNH, 82-74. At 22-5 Vermont is off to its best start ever.
The Wildcats gave Vermont it's toughest conference game of the season so far, going up by 11 at one point in the first half. Fortunately for UVM, Freshman Anthony Lamb had his best game of the season. When the Cats weren't getting the outside shots to fall, Lamb was taking it to the basket and played aggressive in the paint on both ends of the court. Lamb tied a career high with 26 points he also added 13 rebounds.
"I love keeping my team in the game if it's not with scoring or points or rebounds," Lamb said. "I just like to keep the intensity up and make sure that everybody's on the same page and we're not out of it. We're never out of it. If you just keep playing, we'll definitely get back in this game and I feel like the more I increase my intensity, the more people will meet my level. So that helps us throughout the game."
"He (Lamb)'s the type of guy whose energy never drops," UVM guard, Trae Bell-Haynes said. "He's in everybody's ear, trying to get people to get going and I think guys feed off of that a lot, especially his energy. He, obviously being a Freshman, makes a couple of mistakes, maybe a couple of plays that are questionable. But his energy, he keeps coming back and doesn't let anything get him down. I think we're stealing that part from him. We're not letting a little deficit get us too down. We're fighting."
The game was played late last night so that it could be broadcast on ESPNU. The national exposure brought out the Catamount students to Patrick Gym. They provided an atmosphere that one rarely sees at Patrick during a regular season game. They weren't perfect. Some made noise while the Catamounts where shooting free throws, but it was a welcomed energy which should continue once the America East Tournament rolls around.
"Student turnout was as good as I've seen in my time here at Vermont," UVM head coach, John Becker said. "I want to thank the students for coming out. Hopefully we'll continue to see them down the stretch."
"That was unreal," Bell-Haynes said. "The students were Stony Brook-esque for sure. Just the energy they brought. They were loud. There were chants that I had never heard before. Hopefully they can keep coming. If we can keep rolling, they'll definitely keep showing up. It definitely reminds you of a playoff game. If that's what they're going to bring, it's going to be a tough place for other teams to play."
A win on Sunday at UMBC would match the program record for most consecutive victories.
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