Stony Brook defeats Vermont in semifinal

The Catamounts had a chance to tie the game on the final possession, but America East Player of the Year, Jameel Warney swatted away a shot by junior Ethan O’Day and the Cat’s hopes for the America East title.

Second seeded UVM men’s basketball fell to third seeded Stony Brook 79-77 in the America East Conference semifinals March 8.

To advance to the semifinal home matchup against Stony Brook, the Catamounts first had overcome seventh seeded University of  Maryland, Baltimore County in the conference quarterfinals.

Vermont had no trouble downing UMBC as they coasted to a 66-39 victory. The 39 total points allowed by Vermont in this game was the fourth fewest ever allowed in an America East Conference playoff game, according to UVM athletics.

The Catamount defense held  the Retrievers to just over 32.7 percent shooting from the field.

In the Cats’ next playoff game, UVM started the game off strong, outscoring Stony Brook 41-29 in the first half. However, the Seawolves would not go down easily, and charged back in the second half where they outscored the Catamounts 50-36.

The Cats had a higher shooting percentage, three-point percentage and free throw percentage than Stony Brook in the game, but the Seawolves were able to claw back with their strong rebounding.

UVM was led by senior Hector Harold and Ethan O’Day, who finished with 17 and 14 points respectively.

UVM was predicted to finish fourth in the America East preseason poll but ended the season seated  second, with a 12-4 conference record.

O’Day tied for the league lead in blocked shots, averaging 2.3 per game. In addition, sophomore Dre Wills was the league leader in steals, averaging 2.8 per game.

Despite losing in the America East tournament, the Cats will continue their season  March 18 against Hofstra University in the College Basketball Invitation.

“There is new energy around the gym and in the locker room,” Harold said. “Guys are excited, and we should be. This is another opportunity to go out and play with these guys we’ve been playing with for a year now and we all love each other.”