Basketball loses veteran seniors

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Most college basketball teams appreciate the role veteran seniors provide.

In addition to having more experience with the game, quality veterans help serve as mentors to the younger players.

After losing to Stony Brook in the America East semifinals, the men’s basketball team is losing seniors Ryan Pierson and Hector Harold.

Both Pierson and Harold transferred to UVM prior to the 2012-2013 season.

Pierson left Northeastern University, while Harold transferred from Pepperdine University in California, each only playing two seasons at UVM.

Harold started every game this season, and posted a career best mark of 8.2 points per game. Meanwhile Pierson improved his rebound total to 45, from only 19 in 2014, according to UVM athletics.

“Ever since I came to UVM I learned how to lead and participate in a championship caliber system that can compete against nearly any school in the country,” Pierson said.

Since the duo joined the program, the team had a record of 38-22 in regular season play, as well as a 2-2 record in the America East Tournament playoffs.

All five starting members of the roster in 2014 graduated last season, and the team was primarily manned by underclassmen this year.

Since last season, Vermont has beaten non-conference teams like Wagner College and Illinois State University, and were defeated by St. Louis University by only three points.

In addition, the team narrowly missed upsetting then No. 6 Duke University on their own court last year.

Harold hit a clutch three point shot late in the second half to give the Catamounts the lead 74-73, but they would narrowly fall 90-91.

In regard to his best memory of playing collegiate basketball, Pierson looked back at his entire playing career.

“Becoming part of the NCAA All-Rookie team while at Northeastern,” Pierson said. “Nearly beating Duke last year, and successfully recovering from three serious injuries.”

“Next year I plan on becoming a registered dietitian and then get my doctorate in physical therapy,” Pierson said.

Pierson shared some advice for the next class of players to join UVM.

“Make the most of your time in college, work as hard as you can at all times, and appreciate the gift you’ve been given,” he said.

Although their UVM careers are coming to a close, both transfer players have  adapted to their roles and helped the team succeed these past two years.

The Cats lost to Stony Brook in the semifinals of the America East tournament, but will face Hofstra University in the College Basketball Invitational.

“I’m just happy to play another game with our seniors too,” junior Ethan O’Day said.