Perhaps the most amazing thing about a streak like Vermont’s is taking perspective when it finally ends. The Catamounts had the longest current win streak in the nation (15), hadn’t lost a regular season conference game in more than two years (33 games), and had the country’s second-longest home win streak nationally (22, and would have been tops if Vermont had won, as Cincinnati lost later in the day to Wichita State).
But it was a poised, veteran, well-coached Hartford squad that came to Patrick Gym and finally wiped all those streaks off the board with a 69-68 upset in front of a sellout crowd of 3,168. While the Hawks hope the ultimate culmination will come in the America East finals in three weeks, this win will show the national crowd just how far Hartford has come since posting a 19-46 record the last two seasons (and just 8-24 in America East).
As we near conference play, the picture in the America East is finally starting to sort itself out as teams play on a regular basis. Every AE team played at least two games this past week. Vermont and Albany are the top contenders, but Stony Brook, UMBC and Binghamton all look like worthy challengers (and a tough out on any given night). Continue reading →
Vermont and Yale have had the same problem the last couple of seasons. They have become too successful to fill a non-conference schedule without a whole lot of work.
So on Saturday afternoon, they were happy to see each other, even if for Yale, it meant a first home non-conference loss in nearly three years (Dec. 20, 2014 to Albany) as the experienced Catamounts continued to add to their resume with a 79-73 victory at Lee Amphitheater.
Had its 15-point second half lead in the America East final last March held, you might have noticed that Vermont was playing its best basketball of the season. Heading into that fateful day in Stony Brook, the Catamounts had won seven straight and had scored at least 1 point per possession in 10 consecutive outings.
But while the focus – rightfully so given their history – was squarely on the Seawolves on that Saturday morning eight months ago, Vermont’s impressive performance, and the fact that they were there in the firstplace, were no fluke. And it also highlights just how amazing Jameel Warney’s 43-point effort in the Stony Brook comeback was that day.
UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Even if there are large, shiny trophies involved, early-season college basketball games at the mid-major level are not exactly the life or death struggles they become in March, where it’s winner take all and loser go home (or to the CIT if you’re lucky).
But Sunday’s 77-71 loss to Buffalo in the finals of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic at Mohegan Sun Arena stung a little more than the usual November fare for Vermont, and not just because they are a proud, successful program who is used to winning.
Unfortunately, after the Catamounts (2-3) raced to an early lead with hot shooting (its biggest eight at 21-13), John Becker and his team saw the Ghosts of Mistakes Past haunt them all the way to the end. And they know going forward, they will need to exorcise them if they want to unseat Albany and hold off fellow contenders Stony Brook and upstart New Hampshire in America East.
UNCASVILLE, Conn. – There’s no time for what could have beens for college basketball coaches and teams, but there has to be at least a moment or two where Chris Casey and Niagara fans wonder the last couple of seasons.
Part of that isn’t reasonable, but consider this partial list of players who started their careers at Niagara and are still eligible to be playing with them starting with Juan’ya Green and Ameen Tanksley, both at Hofstra, and both first-team preseason All-CAA picks for the Pride, who are also picked to win the conference. It wouldn’t be their first regular-season title, of course, Niagara won the MAAC regular season three years ago before Joe Mihalich left to go to Hofstra and took Green and Tanksley with him.
That team (which went 19-14, 13-5 in the MAAC) also included then-freshman T.J. Cline, who showed plenty of potential and has blossomed into a stud … at Richmond of the Atlantic-10, a big man who can hold his own inside and step out to hit shots as well. That doesn’t take into account, Tahjere McCall, who played decent minutes as a freshman and now starts at Tennessee State.
Vermont remained perfect on Long Island with an 85-81 victory at Hofstra Wednesday evening in the opening round of the College Basketball Invitational tournament. The Catamounts placed five players in double figures in the balanced attack.