Cats scratch into semifinals of College Basketball Invitational

The Catamounts clawed until the very end in a scrappy 78-71 win over visiting Radford Highlanders in the quarterfinal round of the College Basketball Invitational at Patrick’s Gym March 23.

The game, which drew 2,252 fans, marked the first home postseason contest in UVM men’s basketball history.

The first half of play drew a close match, as both teams traded baskets, the Cats finished the half on top 37-34.

UVM (20-13) displayed good ball control and attacked the basket all night long. First-year guard Trae Bell-Haynes  finished the nights with 17 pts and Junior forward Ethan O’Day added 16 points and 7 rebounds.

“It was really good to get the seniors back out here and get another win for them,” Bell-Haynes said.

“I challenged the guys to not back down from their team ,” head coach John Becker said. “It was a great college basketball game and our guys really stood up to these guys tonight.”

The Highlanders were aggressive on both sides of the ball, led by Senior forward Javonte Green who contributed with a double-double and a dunk that silenced Catamount fans.

The second half scoring was close down the stretch and the Cats were able to squeak out the win.

Vermont has won 20-games for the seventh straight season, including four under Becker.

“It feels good to join the other really good teams who have done it and be in their company, but at the same time we still want to win more rounds and keep showing them ,” Bell-Haynes said.

Vermont scratched their way to the CBI semifinals, where they will travel south to square off against the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks, at 8 p.m. Wednesday March 25.