Hartford Clips Vermont, Look To Take Albany

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Sophomore Taylor Coppenrath scored 19 points, including the 1,000th of his career, but it wasn’t enough as the Catamounts dropped a 64-61 decision at Hartford.

With the loss Vermont falls to 10-5 in the conference eliminating any chance the Catamounts had to win their second-straight America East regular season championship.

“This was a great college basketball game and will get us ready for the upcoming tournament,” commented Vermont coach Tom Brennan. “We need to go home and focus on trying to secure second place.”

Coppenrath scored 12 of his points, including a pair of three-pointers, early on as Vermont jumped out to a 20-13 lead. The Hawks answered, backed by 10 points by Ryan Stys, and took a 37-34 lead at the half.

After Hartford went ahead, 47-40, five minutes into the second half, Mike Goia turned the game around for the Catamounts. Goia scored 13 straight points for Vermont in a 13-7 run over a five-minute span that drew the Cats even, 54-54, with 8:29 to go. Two minutes later, a Coppenrath free throw put UVM ahead, 59-54, before five free throws by the Hawks tied it up at 59 with 4:50 to go. Coppenrath scored on an inside move -his 1,000 and 1001 career points – to put Vermont up 61-59 with 3:31 left.

But Vermont, hampered by three turnovers, could not score the rest of the way and Hartford took the lead for good on a three-pointer by Stys with 1:01 to go. After attempts to tie by Coppenrath and Goia missed, Junior Amous closed it out with a pair of free throws with three seconds left.

Coppenrath, who went eight-for-14 from the floor, became the 25th Catamount to score 1,000 points and joined Eddie Benton ’96 as the only players at UVM to reach the level as sophomores. In scoring 1,000 in his 54th game, Coppenrath became the third quickest at Vermont behind Benton (40th game) and Clyde Lord ’57, who scored his 1,000th point in his 51st game.

Goia, seven-for-11 from the floor and four-for-seven from three-point range, also finished with 19 to tie his career-high. Matt Sheftic added 10 and Grant Anderson had nine rebounds.

The Cats then took on Albany in the regular season finale at the Patrick Gym on Sunday afternoon.