Men’s Basketball Finishes With a Slam Dunk

Playing in their last regular season home game, seniors Chris Holm and Martin Kilmes helped to lead the Cats to a 90-73 victory over the Hartford Hawks on Sunday in front of a sellout crowd.

UVM took a 14-point lead in the first half while the Hawks got into early foul trouble.

Junior Kyle Cieplicki stepped up big time for the Cats, hitting four three-pointers, two field goals and a foul shot to lead the team in first half scoring with 17 points.

“Hartford plays all zone so I had to be ready to hit some shots,” Cieplicki said after the game.

Kilmes and Holm both added seven points each in the first half while freshman Marqus Blakely chipped in with 4.

Hawks freshman Joe Zeg-linski went six for nine from the floor and four for four from the foul line, giving him 19 first half points.

Senior Alex Zimnickas added 13 while sophmore Jaret Von Rosenberg put in 11.

Player and coaching staff fouls caused the Hawks some problems in the first half, but they managed to pull away leading the game 50-44 going into halftime.

Starting off the second half, the Cats clawed their way back to even the score.

Holm stepped up offensively, scoring 10 points and pulling down 12 boards to give the senior another double-double.

Heading into the contest, Holm was just 13 rebounds away from passing the all time UVM Men’s Basketball rebounding record, and passed that mark with his game high 15 rebounds.

Kilmes did an outstanding job on the defensive end, shutting down the Hawks’ inside game.

He ended the game with nine points and four rebounds.

Cielplicki was still hot in the second half, scoring nine points bringing his game and career high total to 26.

He also grabbed four boards and a steal to help the Cats defeat Hartford.

Sophomore Mike Trimboli, scoreless in the first half, had a major offensive turn around in the second half, scoring 12 points and grabbing three rebounds.

Freshman Joe Trapani and Marqus Blakely both ended up with eight points on the game.

The Hawks couldn’t keep up in the second half, only shooting 30 percent from the floor.

Zeglinski led Hartford in scoring with 24 points while Jaret Von Rosenberg had 18 and Alex Zimnickas added 16.

“Even though we gave up a lot of points today part of that game I thought we played tremendous defense,” Coach Mike Lonergan said.

With the regular season over for the Cats, playoffs begin this coming weekend.

As the number one seed in America East, UVM will be playing the winner of the game between the eighth and ninth ranked team on March 3 at Ag-ganis Arena in Boston.

“It won’t mean as much if we don’t make it to the NCAAs,” said Chris Holm when asked about their winning season.

With that said, the Cats are excited to get tournament play started.

Vermont’s victory gives the Cats their 11 straight win, making them 15-1 in America East, giving them the best regular-season winning percentage in school history.