BURLINGTON, VT - Senior Mike Trimboli (Norwalk, Conn.) scored a game-high 24 points to lead the University of Vermont men's basketball team to a 78-70 victory over Buffalo as part of the ESPNU BracketBusters series on Saturday afternoon in front of a sold out Patrick Gym. The Cats have now won 13 of their last 14 overall as they improve to 22-7 on the season.
Vermont led by as many as 16 in the second half and held Buffalo to only 32.3 percent shooting after the break. Senior Colin McIntosh (Milton, Mass.) added 18 points and junior Marqus Blakely (Metuchen, N.J.) went for 15 points, nine rebounds and five blocks.
"I'm happy we won the game, as we did a better job in the second half. Our crowd was terrific and kept us up and we escaped and won ugly in the end. We are happy to get that win and it was great to get exposure for our program," said Vermont head coach Mike Lonergan.
Vermont used a 7-0 run to take a 67-51 advantage with 5:12 remaining in the game. Trailing 74-61 after a good lay-up by Blakely with 2:50 left, Buffalo scored the next eight straight to trim UVM's lead to only five. The Bulls would not get any closer though, as Trimboli iced the game with four straight free throws down the stretch.
Buffalo (17-8, 9-3 Mid-American Conference) came out of the gates on fire, making nine of its first 10 attempts from the floor to take a 20-9 lead. McIntosh kept the Catamounts close with 12 points in the half and a three by sophomore Joey Accaoui (Lincoln, R.I.) gave Vermont its first lead of the game at 31-30 with 4:56 to go. Trailing 36-31, UVM scored 10 of the final 13 points of the frame to take a 41-39 lead into the locker room.
The Catamounts shot 54.2 percent from the floor for the game and held a 38-33 rebounding edge. Trimboli finished 7-for-13 from the floor, while McIntosh and Blakely were each 6-for-10.
Rodney Pierce led Buffalo with 21 points, while Titus Robinson was the only other Bull in double figures with 11.
---COURTESY VERMONT ATHLETICS
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