Baltimore, MD—Five Catamounts scored in double figures as Vermont (16-3, 11-0 America East) won its thirteenth straight game, as they held off stubborn UMBC (9-11, 4-7 AE), 80-70, before 2,217 fans at the RAC Arena.
The win ties the longest streak in Vermont school history, equaling last year’s record. They have also won eight straight on the road.
Despite a rocky start, UMBC would not go quietly. The Retrievers missed nine of their first eleven shots and the Catamounts built a 27-11 advantage at the mark of the first half. Behind Rob Gogerty’s ten first half points, UMBC settled down, but Vermont freshman Josh Duell hit 3 of 4 from behind the arc in the first 20 minutes and his 12 points helped the visitors maintain a 40-28 halftime lead.
UMBC quickly sliced the deficit to seven points on three occasions, the last occurring on a Gogerty bucket to make the count, 47-40 with to play. But Vermont freshman Ryan Schneider hit 2 of 3 from behind the arc over the next two minutes and Vermont rebuilt the lead to 57-42 at the mark. UMBC made a final run, as junior forward John Zito capped a 11-3 surge with a driving layup to bring UMBC to within 68-59 with to play. But the Retrievers missed their next eight shots from the floor, any of which could have trimmed the gap to six or seven points, and a T.J. Sorrentine three-pointer with to play put the game out of reach.
Vermont senior forward Taylor Coppenrath, third in the nation in scoring entering the game (23.7 ppg) was held below his average, but he contributed 12 rebounds and a career high 6 assists to go along with a team best 17 points. Duell added 16 on 5 of 6 shooting, while Sorrentine scored 14 and Schneider added 12 points on 4 of 8 shooting from behind the arc.
Gogerty led all scorers with a season best 19 points and also the senior guard also dished out nine assists in 38 minutes. Zito scored 16 points in 25 minutes, and sophomore guard Chris Pugh hit 4 of 5 shots in a 10-point effort.
Vermont hit 25 of 51 shots from the floor (49.0%) and 11 of 26 from behind the arc, dropping UMBC to 0-7 when the opponent hits 45% or more from the field.