Catamounts Basketball Crush Holy Cross

In a match up between two of the best mid-major programs in the country in recent years, Vermont prevailed over Holy Cross 68-64 this past Monday at Patrick Gym. Martin Klimes (22 points, 9 rebounds) and Mike Trimboli (21 pts. 6 assists, 5 rebs.) once again led the way for the Catamounts, combining for 43 points.

Both teams failed to find any kind of rhythm early on, and combined for only 12 points after 8 minutes of play, with Vermont holding a slim 8-4 lead following a Klimes jumper from the foul line. Ryan Schneider (9 pts., 8 rebs.) then sandwiched a bucket between three Klimes free throws and Vermont suddenly found itself on top, 13-4. Klimes extended the run with a lay-up before the Crusaders finally answered with a 3 pointer, from reigning Patriot League Player of the Year, Kevin Hamilton. Kyle Cieplicki added a three of his own, putting UVM back up by 11, 18-7.

The teams battled back and forth over the next couple of minutes before the Catamounts were able to open up a 14 point lead, keyed by a Chris Holm (11 pts., 11 rebs.) block as the shot clock expired on a Holy Cross possession.

With Vermont leading 31-17, Holy Cross scored 9 straight points, highlighted by a fast break alley-oop following a Vermont turnover. Turnovers and missed free throws were the Achilles heel of the Catamounts in the first half and kept Holy Cross in the game heading into the locker room, as Vermont held only an 8 point lead (34-26).

Holy Cross continued its inspired play to begin the 2nd half, reeling off a 14-5 run to take its first lead of the game, 40-39. Mike Trimboli, who has garnered comparisons to T.J. Sorrentine by some, nailed a fade away at the foul line to give UVM the lead once again. Holy Cross saw its final lead of the game moments later following a breakaway lay-up off of a Vermont turnover, 44-42.

The Catamounts continued to battle and built up the lead to as many as 13,61-48, before Holy Cross pulled close in the last few minutes. Trimboli iced the game down the stretch, hitting his final 6 free throw attempts (12 of 13 for the game), leading Vermont to its 2nd straight victory.

Following the game first year head coach Mike Lonergan spoke of the tremendous victory. “This is a great win for our team and our program. In all my years of coaching, I have never had a team work this hard. By working our butts off, especially on defense and on the boards, we were able to beat a very well coached team tonight.”

The Cats are back at home Saturday December 10th at 1 pm against the University of New Hampshire, following a tough road contest against Iona.

Game Notes: Freshman point guard Mike Trimboli continues to do it all. He’s automatic from the foul line and gets his teammates involved, although he does need to cut down on his turnovers.

Martin Klimes had his 3rd straight game of 20 or more points after struggling to open the season. Chris Holm had his best game as a Catamount and looks better and better as he recovers from his knee injury. Ryan Schneider is a huge help for Klimes and Holm on the boards, but Coach Lonergan needs to get him more shots from the outside. He’s by far the best perimeter shooter on the team.

Chad Powlovich is the most improved player and hardest worker on the team. He deserves even more minutes than he’s getting.

Highly touted freshman Colin McIntosh has seemed a little out of sync in the last couple of games, but he’ll get it together. He’s one of the most talented guys out there. Timmy McCrory provided his usual energy boost off the bench.