HoopCats advance to AE Championship game - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

HoopCats advance to AE Championship game

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Freshman Anthony Lamb scored 16 of his game high 24 points in the first half as the UVM men's basketball team beat UNH on Monday night, 74-41 in the America East Semifinals at Patrick Gym.  The top seeded Catamounts will host Albany for the America East Championship and an automatic bid in the NCAA Tournament Saturday morning at 11 a.m.

"We're not defending champs.  We're not defending anything.  We're playing to win this game.  We've got to go out there and take the game and play it one possession at at time," UVM head coach, John Becker said.  "The guys just continue to do whatever I ask and have just bought into that."

While most of the Catamounts were not shooting well from the floor in the first half, Lamb nailed 4-three pointers and hit 6 for the game.

"I just hit the shots that they gave me," Lamb said.  "The only way I got those shots is because Dre (Wills), Tre (Bell-Haynes) and Ernie (Duncan) are that good at attacking the basket and they have to respect them and respect that they can do that."

Payton Henson scored 14 points.  Dre Wills added 12 as the Catamounts held UNH to just 24% (6-25) shooting.

UVM has now won 20 straight games and is 28-5 on the season.  A win on Saturday would put the Cats in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2012.

It's no secret that Albany has been the dominant over UVM in the America East Tournament.  Most recently, the Danes upset the Cats in the semifinals in 2014 and in 2013 the Cats lost to the Danes in the title game at Patrick Gym.

Vermont swept Albany in their two games this season including a 12 point win in Burlington a couple of weeks ago.  After that game, Albany head coach Will Brown talked about getting another shot at the Cats.  

"I don't have a problem coming up here (Patrick Gym) and playing," Brown said.  "It's a fun place to play.  A good atmosphere.  They're a good basketball team and I think half the teams that come up here are beat before they get up here.  In our case, we've played in big games before, in the past.  It doesn't phase me and I'm trying to relay that to our team."

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