CINCINNATI — The University of Vermont fell flat at the end of Wednesday’s first half and struggled to recover, suffering an 82-73 loss against Cincinnati.
Keith Williams scored a career-high 23 points for the Bearcats (6-2) and added five rebounds and five assists. He was 4 of 4 from 3-point land and 7 of 8 from the foul line. Stef Smith scored 18 points for UVM (6-4) after making 4 of 8 attempts from 3-point range. It was the first meeting between the two programs.
The Catamounts pulled ahead in the first half behind hot 3-point shooting. Cincinnati quickly recovered, carrying a 40-27 lead into halftime. The Bearcats led by as many as 23 points in the second half before the Cats inched closer and closer during the final minutes. Smith hit a 3-pointer for Vermont with 2:03 remaining, closing the gap to 70-63.
The Bearcats nearly committed a shot-clock violation on the following possession and the Catamounts appeared to take control of the ball. However, a video review put the ball back back in the hands of Cincinnati. After the Bearcats extended their lead, the Cats attempted to rally again at the end. A basket by Smith made it 78-71 with 29 seconds remaining. Cincinnati closed out the victory from the foul line, where they went 22 of 26 for the game.
Jaevin Cumberland (21 points) went 6 of 8 from the stripe to help set the tone. Tre Scott made all four of his shots from the stripe in the victory, finishing with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Teammate Chris Vogt added 11 points as the Bearcats handed the Cats their second straight loss. Cincinnati has won five of its last six games.
Vermont’s Anthony Lamb contributed 16 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and four blocks. He went 8 of 11 from the foul line and was 4 of 16 from the field. Teammate Everett Duncan drained 3 of 5 attempts from long range and wound up with 13 points, nine points and two steals. Ryan Davis (nine points, three rebounds) and Bailey Patella (six points) also had solid outings for the Cats.
The game featured two reigning conference Players of the Years in Lamb and Cumberland. Lamb averaged 19.6 points per game in the America East, while Cumberland scored an average of 19.9 points per game against American Athletic Conference opponents.
The Catamounts have lost three of their last four games and will host Towson at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Lamb 4-16 8-11 16, Davis 3-4 0-0 9, E.Duncan 5-10 0-0 13, Smith 7-15 0-0 18, R.Duncan 1-5 0-0 3, Demuth 1-4 0-0 3, Patella 2-2 0-0 6, Deloney 0-3 2-2 2, Beckett 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 24-61 10-13 73.