NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Paul Atkinson scored 23 points to lead Yale past Vermont, 65-52, during Sunday’s men’s college basketball action.
Atkinson made 9 of 11 attempts from the field and grabbed seven rebounds for the Bulldogs (6-3). Teammate Jordan Bruner added 17 points and nine rebounds as Yale won for the third straight time and improved to 3-0 at home.
“Paul has been dominating every big he goes against,” Bruner said. “We are going to continue to put things on his back. We have a very good frontcourt and we just try to ride that.”
Anthony Lamb tallied 18 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two blocks for the Catamounts (6-3). He made 8 of 23 shots from the floor, including a 2-of-12 effort from 3-point range. During Saturday’s rematch the UVM forward had to work hard for every one of his baskets due to outstanding defense by Bruner.
“Jordan did a great job 1-on-1 at limiting (Lamb’s) opportunities,” Yale coach James Jones said. “He had 18 points, but I don’t know how many he had when Jordan was in the game.”
Last year Lamb scored 34 points in a victory over Yale, going 13 of 24 from the field and hitting 6 of 11 of his 3-point attempts. But it was a different story during Saturday’s rematch.
“Any time the person I’m guarding catches the ball, I’m not going to be the one to get scored on,” said Bruner, who is among the nation’s leaders in blocked shots.
Vermont’s Stef Smith entered the game averaging 14 points per game. Unfortunately for the Cats, he missed all seven of his shots and was held scoreless. The setback snapped UVM’s three-game winning streak against the Bulldogs.
“It was a tough loss today,” Catamounts coach John Becker said. “I have to give Yale credit because they played like a team to beat us.”
Yale shot 42 percent from the floor. The Bulldogs made 6 of 19 attempts from 3-point range and were 15 of 17 from the free-throw line. Vermont made 36 percent of its shots from the field. The Cats were 5 of 28 on 3-point attempts and were 5 of 7 from the foul line.
Yale opened the game on a 12-0 run, led by Atkinson. Lamb made a 3-pointer to stop the bleeding, but the Bulldogs remained comfortably in front and led 23-10 midway through the first half.
UVM answered with a 15-6 run in the final 10 minutes of the frame and cut the deficit to 29-25 entering the break. Everett Duncan had five points to lead the run for the Green and Gold.
Yale opened the second half with a 10-4 surge and extended its lead to 13 points with 7:48 remaining. Vermont trimmed the deficit to seven points on a Robin Duncan layup with 1:16 left, but strong free-throw shooting helped Yale put the game out of reach.
Vermont’s Everett Duncan shot 3 for 8 from the field and finished with nine points and seven rebounds. Teammate Ryan Davis added eight points from off the bench and grabbed six rebounds.
Yale has won four its last five games and recently won the NIT Season Tip-Off Orlando bracket.
“The last four games we’ve played really well,” Jones said.
Yale and Vermont, who both played in the NCAA Tournament a year ago, have been two of the more successful programs in New England during the past few years.
“Vermont has been very good, and we feel like we’re pretty good in our building,” Jones said. “To go out and beat good teams is important. It shows what we are capable of doing, but we are still trying to grow and still trying to get better.”
Vermont will travel to play Cincinnati at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The game will be broadcast nationally on the CBS Sports Network. Yale will travel to play Albany at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
YALE 65, VERMONT 52
Lamb 8-23 0-0 18, Giddens 1-1 0-0 2, E.Duncan 3-8 2-2 9, R.Duncan 2-6 1-2 5, Smith 0-7 0-0 0, Demuth 1-2 0-0 2, Patella 1-1 0-0 2, Davis 3-7 1-1 8, Deloney 0-1 1-2 1, Beckett 2-3 0-0 5. Totals 21-59 5-7 52.