Men’s basketball ends with another close loss

The UVM men’s basketball team closed out their season in familiar fashion for this year’s postseason, losing to Oregon State 71-70 in overtime last Monday, March 23.

The Cats played well throughout the game, scoring 38 points in the first half to take a two-point lead into halftime over the Pac-10’s OSU. The game came down to the wire, with the Beavers taking the lead indefinitely on a bucket with 6.1 seconds remaining in overtime.

Following a dissatisfying exit in the America East Quarterfinals against Albany on March 7, the Catamounts made their appeal to be recognized as noteworthy throughout the rest of college basketball by playing Oregon State, a team that spends a good portion of their schedule battling powerhouse teams like Washington, UCLA and USC.

During the game, senior Mike Trimboli eclipsed the 2,000 career-point milestone, becoming the fourth ever UVM basketball player to reach the mark.

With the 15 point effort against the Beavers, Trimboli will close out his UVM career with 2,009 points, just four shy of famed alum T.J. Sorrentine’s career total. Trimboli will also leave UVM with 624 assists, a University of Vermont record.

Junior Marqus Blakely led Vermont in scoring with a 17-point effort, only outmatched by Oregon State’s Calvin Haynes and his 17 points, which included the game winning shot with only seconds left on the clock.

Blakely, accustomed to accolades, was once again named both America East’s Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. Blakely is the only player in A-East History to receive both awards and also the first to repeat as Defensive Player of the Year.

While the Cats will say goodbye to Trimboli and fellow starter Colin McIntosh this offseason, Blakely and the rest of Vermont’s tenured players will undoubtedly build off of this season’s experience as they look forward to next year.

Poised all season to return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2005, next year’s team will have its chance when the time comes.