Catamount basketball tips off this week

While March may seem a long ways away, UVM basketball will begin its journey toward the Big Dance with a pair of games at Patrick Gym this weekend. The women’s basketball team opens up their season on Friday, Nov. 14, against UMass.The Lady Cats will look to their wealth of experienced players, who helped the team go 14-1 at home last year, for both production and leadership. The team is returning four of last year’s five starters including the 2007-2008 America East player of the year, junior forward Courtnay Pilypaitis. Tip off time is set for 6 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on WVMT-620 AM radio. The men’s team will take their turn at a winning debut on Saturday at 1 p.m. when they host George Mason. The Catamounts return a core of standout players, including senior point guard Mike Trimboli and the 2007-2008 America East Player of the Year, junior forward Marqus Blakely. Also joining the team this year is junior guard Maurice Joseph. Joseph transferred from Michigan State last year and, after sitting out the mandatory year as specified by NCAA rules for transferring student-athletes, is ready to make his Catamount debut. Like the women, the men’s team hopes to continue their winning ways at home, as they finished 8-4 at the friendly confines of Patrick Gym last year.