BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) New Hampshire's defensive pressure helped the Wildcats pull away from Vermont in the fourth quarter as they defeated the UVM Catamounts, 59-51 Wednesday afternoon in the annual Catamount Classroom Game. With the win the Wildcats improved to 4-4 in conference this season while the Catamounts fell to 3-5. Vermont welcomed 13 different schools totaling over 1,500 students ranging from preschool to middle school. Schools from Highgate, Swanton, South Burlington, Fairfield, Charlotte, Burlington, Essex, Underhill and Huntington were a part of the special atmosphere.
"This game came down to digging deep and fighting and UNH had the upper hand," UVM Head Coach, Alisa Kresge said. "There is no doubt we have talent but we are struggling against physicality and it's something we need to embrace and find a way."
The Wildcats jumped out to an early 5-0 advantage but the Catamounts quickly responded with the largest run of the first half, 7-0, behind a three-pointer from Hanna Crymble and layups from Sarah Wells and Emma Utterback. UNH took a one-point advantage into the second quarter after a closely contested ten minutes. With 5:59 left in the second quarter, the Wildcats took a five-point edge with a layup from Helena Delaruelle. Carly Whiteside scored the next four points for UVM and Emma Utterback converted two free throws to tie the game back up at 27. The Wildcats closed the half on a 5-0 run to take a 32-27 edge to the intermission.
Caroline Soucy capped a 6-0 run for the Wildcats at the start of the third quarter as they took a 38-29 lead with 6:24 left in the frame. The Catamounts co-captains responded taking over with a 10-2 run. Crymble and Larkins each had five points to pull the Catamounts back within one. The Wildcats took a three-point advantage to the fourth quarter.
Vermont scored the only four points of the first four minutes of the final quarter from the free throw line to take a 46-45 lead. UNH dialed up the pressure midway through the quarter. Utterback was called for two offensive fouls in just 39 seconds, a part of eight UVM turnovers in the final six minutes. The Wildcats seized the opportunity and went on a 6-0 run. The Catamounts weren't able to recover.
Crymble had a team-high three blocks, adding to her team-leading total of 44 this season.
Vermont is back home on Saturday as the Cats host UAlbany at 2 p.m. on Alumnae Day. Alumnae are invited to a pregame reception starting at 12 p.m..
Courtesy: UVM Athletics