BURLINGTON, VT – Senior co-captains Blagoj Janev (Sydney, Australia) and Jermaine Anderson (Beverly, Mass.) combined for 40 points and sophomore guard Tyrece Gibbs (Brockton, Mass.) tallied 18 points, but the New Hampshire Wildcats came up just short in two overtimes to America East leader the University of Vermont, 82-79, on Wednesday night at Patrick Gymnasium.
UNH falls to 8-15, 4-6 AE, while Vermont improves to 16-6, and a league leading 8-1. The Wildcats lose for a fourth time in overtime this season and tie the 1989-90 team record for most overtimes played in a season.
UNH was down early as the Catamounts built a 36-24 lead going into halftime. UNH, however, rallied in the second half to outscore the host team, 41-29.
A three-pointer by America East Player of the Game, Blagoj Janev, with 21 seconds to go gave the Wildcats a slight 65-63 lead. Vermont’s Mike Trimboli, who scored 26 points, answered with a jump shot with 12 seconds remaining in regulation. Anderson’s last chance shot with time expiring in regulation hit the front rim, sending both teams into the extra session.
The Wildcats built their largest lead of the contest on a Dan McGeary (Newton, Mass.) trey from beyond the arc with 2:13 to play (73-69). McGeary netted nine points, all coming from beyond the arc. After two makes from the charity stripe by Catamount forward Chad Powlovich and a missed jumper by Gibbs, senior Chris Holm delivered a layup to tie the score. Holm was announced America East Player of the Game for his 24 point and 18-rebound performance.
In the second overtime session, Vermont took the early 78-75 advantage on a Martin Klimes layup with 2:43 left. UNH junior forward Brandon Odom (Dorchester, Mass.) responded with a three-pointer from the top of the key with 1:46 left to bring the score to 80-79. The Wildcats failed to score again in the contest and Trimboli’s two foul shots with one tick left iced the game for the Catamounts.
UNH made a season-high 28 field goals, shooting 28-of-69 (40.6 percent) for the contest, while the Catamounts shot 31-of-67 (46.3 percent). Vermont, which leads the America East in rebounds, held the 50-35 advantage on the glass. The UNH defense caused 12 turnovers, while protecting the ball and only making seven turnovers in 50 minutes of action.
The Wildcats look to snap a three game losing streak when they play host to the University of Maine Black Bears on Saturday (Feb. 3) at 3 p.m. The game will be televised on NESN and broadcasted by the UNHSN. Tickets are still available by visiting www.unhwildcats.com.