Hoopcats Cruise Past Gallaudet on Thanksgiving Eve

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Daniel Giddens scored a career high 17 points as the UVM men's basketball team downed Gallaudet 93-44 Wednesday night at Patrick Gym.

Vermont typically plays one game against a Division 3 team early in the nonconference portion of its schedule, usually against a team from New England and often against a team from Vermont. But this season the game featured Gallaudet, the nation's only four-year liberal arts school for the deaf and hard of hearing, and the place head coach John Becker held his first college coaching job from 1994-1999.

"It's hard to play against your friends and a place I really care about," Becker said after the game. "(They were) obviously overmatched today and I've been on the other side of it."

As for the game itself, the Catamounts' advantages in size and athleticism were apparent early on. Stef Smith staked UVM out to an early lead with a trio of three-balls before the first media timeout, but the Cats did most of their damage in the paint, shooting better than 70% from inside the arc.

Twelve players got in the game for UVM, and every single one of them scored, including freshman Eric Beckett (10 points) and local products Deng Adiang (Jericho) and Kevin Garrison (Burlington) with a bucket each.

"Good everyone got in tonight," Becker said. "Shooting continues to be an issue for us, especially from three, but again it was good to play everyone tonight and it's good that the game's over and we won."

Vermont got solid performances from both their power-conference transfers, as Duncan Demuth and Giddens each posted career highs with ten and 17 points respectively. Giddens took it a step farther, pulling down eight rebounds and picking up a block as well.

"Whether I score or don't score, my job is to play as hard as I can," Giddens said. "And that's rebounding and blocked shots and being the player Coach Becker wants me to be. So whether I score zero, whether I score 20, I'm just trying to be a dog for my team."

Vermont improves to 6-2 on the season with the victory, and will head on the road for a pair of tough tests: the Cats face Yale on Sunday, a team they have beaten each of the last three years by an average of less than five points per game. After that contest, UVM will travel to Cincinnati on Tuesday to face a Bearcat team which has reached the NCAA Tournament each of the past nine seasons and won the last two American Athletic Conference Tournaments.