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Hoopcats Blast Maine

Stef Smith leaves 65-30 win with shoulder injury
Published: Jan. 16, 2021 at 7:40 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The UVM men’s basketball team struggled to score for much of the game, but put in a dominant defensive effort to roll Maine 65-30. With the win, the Cats move to 6-3 in America East play.

Maine actually scored the first six points of the game, but UVM answered with a 7-0 spurt led by Ryan Davis, who would finish with a game-high 15 points. Vermont’s lead was just 9-8 with 8:15 to play in the first half, but the Cats would go on a 24-4 run before the break.

Stef Smith would do much of his damage straddling halftime as the Vermont lead would grow to more than 30. The senior captain scored 14 points of his own, but the most impactful moment of the game may have occurred with a little more than 15 minutes to play. Smith pulled down a defensive rebound and carried the ball up court, but after showing a little too much of the ball, a Maine defender plowed into his left shoulder going for the steal. Smith would need to be helped off the court and would not return.

“No it’s nothing major,” head coach John Becker said after the game. “It’s not a dislocation, it’s not any kind of ligament tear or labrum or whatever that stuff is but I think it’s a bruise. And so we’ll have to see how he feels in the morning but you know, I wouldn’t expect to have him tomorrow. That is how we’ve built this thing is on defense and rebounding and game planning. So those nights where you don’t have one of your better players, your better scorers, you can stay in games and find ways to win. And so we’re gonna have to do that tomorrow if Stef doesn’t play.”

The Cats and Black Bears are scheduled to square off again Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.

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