The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

Men’s Basketball Remains Unbeaten in Conference Play

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Courtesy of Brian Foley
UVM men’s basketball wins 72-65 against UMass Lowell Jan. 25.

Heading into a crucial two-game stretch of their season, head coach John Becker and the Catamounts found themselves in familiar territory at the top of the American East with a 14-5 record.

UMass Lowell had found success in the early stages of conference play and posed a threat to Vermont’s path to an eighth-consecutive regular season title.

Going into their game against Lowell, Becker and the Cats had won a nation’s-best 19-consecutive conference games dating back to Jan. 11, 2023, where they lost to the River Hawks in Lowell.

Looking to send a message to the rest of the conference, Vermont aimed for a statement win against a River Hawks team who only lost four games all year.

The Cats started the game on a 12-5 run, but Lowell answered with a dominant 15-2 run within minutes. With a back-and-forth first half, Vermont found themselves down by three at the half.

The second half was much of the same—a game of runs. Following a 9-2 run led by junior forward Illeri Ayo-Faleye, Vermont retook the lead.

After extending the lead to as much as seven with under three minutes to go, Catamount miscues on defense gave Lowell the opportunity to cut the lead at the free-throw line, and ultimately, get the game to overtime.

Lowell got things started in overtime with some early free throws, but Vermont’s veteran presence took over.

Sophomore guard TJ Hurley and junior guard TJ Long hit clutch threes and Ayo-Faleye capped off his first-career double-double with some free throws that put the nail in the coffin–giving the River Hawks their first conference loss and their first loss at home since March of 2022.

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