MEN’S BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK
Vermont (22-5, 12-0) takes its unblemished conference record below the Mason-Dixon Line to UMBC (16-8, 7-4) on Sunday (Feb. 12) at 1 p.m. All UVM men’s basketball games can be heard on ESPN 101.3 FM and online at 1013ESPN.com with Sam Hyman on the call.
CATS ON ESPN3
Fans can watch the conference matchup on ESPN3 and the watchESPN app by logging in with your cable provider.
UMBC: Video | Live Stats | Audio
Polls: Associated Press | Mid-MajorMadness.com | CollegeInsider.com
UNH Flashback: CatamounTV Rewind | ESPNU Postgame Interview with Coach Becker
Game Notes: Vermont (.pdf)
SETTING THE SCENE
The Catamounts are riding a 14-game winning streak and are one game away from tying the program record for most consecutive overall and league wins. UVM is trying to become only the eighth team in America East history to start 13-0 in conference play. Among the country’s best, the green and gold are one of 10 programs with at least 22 wins. Vermont ranks in the top-40 in four NCAA categories – 13th-best team field-goal percentage (49.2%), 22nd-best winning percentage (81.5%), 25th-lowest scoring defense (63.6 ppg allowed), and 33rd-highest scoring margin (+10.2).
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NATION’S LONGEST ACTIVE WINNING STREAKS
Vermont’s 14-game winning streak is tied for the third-longest active streak in the country. Gonzaga leads the nation at 24 games, Cincinnati follows with 15 wins, and Belmont is tied with UVM at 14 victories.
The Catamounts are one of five programs in the country with an undefeated conference record. From the five teams, UVM is one of three with at least 22 total wins and the only team in New England with an unblemished league mark.
TALLY THE VOTE!
The Catamounts received a vote in this week’s Associated Press Top-25 Poll for the first time since 2006-07. UVM has more victories on the year than 15 teams in the poll. Among the nation’s top mid-major programs, the green and gold were ranked No. 10 this week in the Mid-MajorMadness.com Power Rankings. The Cats are in a similar position with the No. 11 spot in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 Poll.
LAST TIME OUT | New Hampshire Highlights
The Catamounts set the record for the best start in program history by improving to 22-5 overall on the season and held off New Hampshire on Thursday night with an 82-74 America East win at Patrick Gym. Vermont’s offense was fueled by a pair of 20-point outings and four players in double figures. Anthony Lamb matched a career-high with 26 points on 9-of-16 shooting and grabbed 13 rebounds, including nine on the offensive glass. Trae Bell-Haynes followed with 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting and dished out six assists. Kurt Steidl dropped 11 points and six boards while Payton Henson added 10 points, five rebounds, and two blocks.
A double overtime thriller against UNH on Jan. 28 sparked a three-game winning streak for the Retrievers before hitting a snag on Thursday against Hartford with an 84-77 loss. On its home floor, UMBC is averaging 87.0 points per game compared to a 78.1 points average on the road. The Retrievers have the top scoring offense during league play at 82.1 points per game and rank second in three-point percentage (40.2%) behind the Catamounts. Will Darley, the reigning America East Co-Player of the Week, is tied for second in conference play with a 19.8 scoring average. Jairus Lyles, the league leader in overall scoring, is dropping 20.0 points per game during his junior season.
Vermont has won 20 straight games against UMBC dating back to the 2008-09 season. The 20-game winning streak is the longest active for the Cats against a Division I opponent as UVM owns the all-time series 29-4. The Retrievers beat the green and gold three times in a two-month span during the 2007-08 season, their most successful stretch against their conference rival.
Vermont travels to UMass Lowell on Wednesday (Feb. 15) in the road finale. Action gets underway at 7 p.m. All UVM men’s basketball games can be heard on ESPN 101.3 FM and online at 1013ESPN.com with Sam Hyman on the call. The game can be seen on ESPN3 and the watchESPN app by logging in with your cable provider.