FAIRFAX, Va. — Anthony Lamb and Ernie Duncan scored 19 points apiece to help the University of Vermont men’s basketball team close out a 72-67 victory over George Mason on Monday night.
Lamb recorded seven rebounds, four assists and three blocks for the Cats, who capped a sweep of their three-game road trip in the Washington D.C. area. Ernie Duncan went 8 of 14 from the field, while brother Everett Duncan went 7 of 9 from the foul line and finished with nine points. Teammates Stef Smith (10 points, three rebounds), Isaiah Moll (seven rebounds) and Robin Duncan (six points) were also sharp. Burlington product Ben Shungu finished with four rebounds and three points despite playing with four fouls late in the game.
Justin Kier scored 32 points for George Mason. Ian Boyd (12 points), Goanar Mar (seven rebounds) and Otis Livingston II (six points) rounded out the Patriots’ top contributors.
The Catamounts opened up a 27-22 halftime lead and the Patriots kept things close at the start of the second half. Duncan’s 3-pointer with 14:30 remaining made it a double-digit lead at 38-28, and moments later George Mason committed its 13th turnover. A layup by Duncan extended the lead to 40-28 before Ian Boyd stopped the bleeding for the Patriots with 13:45 remaining. Shungu crashed the defensive glass and Duncan scored again for a 42-30 advantage with 13:00 left to play.
A Smith 3-pointer gave Vermont a 45-34 lead with 11:40 remaining but Boyd answered with a long-range shot at the opposite end. Ernie Duncan scored a basket in the paint for a 47-37 cushion with 10:30 remaining and a Shungu steal led to another basket for a 49-37 lead. Another Duncan basket kept the Cats rolling, but Kier trimmed the deficit to 53-42 with 6:30 and rattled in a jumper to make it 53-44 with 5:50 left to play. Robin Duncan’s bank shot made it 55-54 and Lamb took a charge on the defensive end.
Everett Duncan was fouled while putting up a 3-point shot to earn three attempts from the foul line and Vermont pulled ahead 58-44. Boyd went 1 of 2 from foul line in response and a George Mason field goal with 4:15 left to play made it 58-47. Robin Duncan went coast-to-coast for a 60-47 with 3:20 left, but Greg Calixte answered for George Mason.
Ernie Duncan made a foul shot and then Kier closed the gap to 61-52 with 2:50 remaining. Lamb made two foul shots for a 63-52 lead with 2:45 remaining. Kier responded again to make it 63-54, but Everett Duncan drained a wide-open layup for a 65-54 lead.
Kier was fouled on the next possession and his team closed the gap to 65-58. UVM missed a 3-pointer but Everett Duncan grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 1:05 remaining. He made both shots for a 67-58 lead.
Kier banked in a 3-pointer with 54 seconds left, but Everett Duncan returned to the line with 38 seconds left and went 1 of 2 for a 68-61 lead. Livingston hit his first shot from the field at the other end and could have capped a three-point play from the foul line, but he missed the shot and Lamb grabbed the rebound.
Lamb made a free-throw attempt with 20 seconds left for a 69-63 lead. Kier made a layup with 16 seconds remaining and the Patriots called a timeout with UVM leading 69-65. With 12 seconds left, Everett Duncan went 1 of 2 from the line and then Kier made a layup with seven seconds left, closing the gap to three points. Smith was fouled with six seconds remaining and made both attempts to close out the final outcome.
Monday marked the first meeting since 2008 between the Catamounts and Patriots in a battle between teams with matching green-and-gold colors. George Mason (4-6) will host James Madison (6-4) at 7 p.m. Friday. Vermont (6-3) will host Harvard (4-4) at 7 p.m. Saturday.