BURLINGTON — The top-seeded University of Vermont men’s basketball team earned its 10th straight trip to the America East semifinals with Saturday’s 73-57 victory over No. 8 Maine.
Junior forward Anthony Lamb proved why he was voted America East Player of the Year with a game-high 34 points. He made 12 of 23 attempts from the field with four 3-pointers. He added six rebounds and four steals for the Cats, who will host No. 7 Binghamton at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
“It was a good win here in the first round of the playoffs,” Vermont coach John Becker said. “In the second half I thought our defense slipped a little, but we were able to get enough stops. I thought Anthony played great offensively — he kind of carried us again tonight.”
Vermont’s Ernie Duncan reached double figures for the third time in the last four games. He scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half on a 4-of-5 shooting effort. He also dished out three assists for the Cats (25-6). Duncan became the third UVM player to make 300 career 3-pointers. He joins Tony Orciari (305) and T.J. Sorrentine (354).
Samuel Dingba and Ryan Davis added seven points apiece for the Cats. The pair combined to collect five boards and swatted away two shots. The Catamounts drained three attempts from long distance for an 18-5 lead less than six minutes into the game. The Black Bears (5-27) answered quickly, cutting the deficit to 20-11 with 9:26 left in the first half. After the two foes traded buckets for two minutes, UVM closed out the half on a 15-6 run for a 41-22 lead at the break.
In the second half the Black Bears closed the gap to 16 points before UVM pulled away for good. Becker earned his 15th career America East Tournament victory and moves into sole possession of fourth on the league’s all-time tournament wins list.
Binghamton earned a 78-72 victory over Stony Brook to advance to the semifinals. UMBC secured a 62-54 quarterfinal victory over Albany, while Hartford nabbed a 78-70 quarterfinal win over UMass Lowell.
A general-public sale for semifinal tickets at Patrick Gym will begin Monday at noon. Individuals can purchase tickets at the Patrick Gym Box Office or online at UVMathletics.com/Tickets. Phone orders will not be taken until all in-person customers have been assisted. The cost is $14 for reserved youth seats (12-and-under), $16 for reserved seats and $18 for premium tickets. There is no charge for UVM students.