BURLINGTON, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College men's basketball team capped a run of two exhibition games in five days against Division I heavyweights by falling at crosstown rival University of Vermont, 84-48, on Sunday in Patrick Gymnasium. The Catamounts qualified for two of the past three NCAA Division I Tournaments as America East Conference champions and landed among CollegeInsider.com's top 10 mid-major programs last spring.
SAINT MICHAEL'S LEADERS
- Senior Jordan Guzman (Staten Island, N.Y./Xaverian), 14 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals
- First-year Kasai Brown (Brooklyn, N.Y./Millbrook School), 12 points, 7 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal
- Senior Eli DiGrande (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex), 9 points, 8 rebounds, 1 steal
- Redshirt junior Thomas Jackson III (Middletown, Conn./Holderness School), 6 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds
- Junior Jason Heter (Andover, N.J./Newton), 6 rebounds
- Sophomore Jontai Williams (Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Hayes), 3 rebounds, 2 assists
- Sophomore Ryan Davis, 17 points, 7-for-12 field goals
- Junior Stef Smith, 13 points, 3 assists, 3-for-7 three-pointers
- First-year Aaron Deloney, 10 points, 6 assists
- Junior Bailey Patella, 10 points, 6 rebounds
- Redshirt senior Everett Duncan, 10 points
- Sophomore Isaiah Powell, 6 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists
- Senior Anthony Lamb, 5 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks
- Graduate student Daniel Giddens, 3 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks
- Saint Michael's took on its second Division I opponent in five days, having visited the University of Connecticut on Wednesday. The Purple and Gold played two exhibition games for the first time since 2009-10, as Connecticut was its initial Division I opponent other than Vermont since that season.
- Vermont qualified for two of the last three NCAA Tournaments as postseason champion of the America East Conference. The Catamounts have drawn postseason berths beyond the AE playoffs each of the last 11 years, and 15 of the last 17. Vermont landed among CollegeInsider.com's top 10 mid-major programs in the country last spring.
- The teams played 135 times in the regular season between 1920-21 and 2002-03 and have recently resumed the rivalry during preseason play.
- Saint Michael's was only outscored 29-26 during the second half, committing eight turnovers while being edged on the glass, 23-20. The Purple Knights held Vermont to 36.7 percent shooting in the stanza.
- Duncan buried a three from the corner 14 into the contest before the Purple Knights responded with a 7-2 run, with Guzman scoring five points, including a tough lay-in under the hoop off of Heter's pass and a wing three-pointer at 18:12 of the opening half.
- Vermont netted the next nine points, with Smith and Duncan both knocking down triples, before Brown buried a trey of his own from the corner just before the first media timeout, making it 14-10 by 15:52.
- Brown's lay-up cut the deficit to two, but the Catamounts responded with a 13-0 run during a 1:11 span to push the lead to 27-12, as five different players scored.
- First-year Jalen Gorham's (York, Pa./MacDuffie School) strong take and bank at 13:25 ended the run, sparking a 6-4 counter. Jackson scored the final four Purple Knight points, including burying a three with 10:32 remaining.
- Smith scored the next eight points to begin a 12-0 Vermont run before DiGrande put home a lay-up with 2:08 left and Heter converted a lefty baby hook at 1:35.
- Saint Michael's started the second half on a 6-2 run, with Guzman putting in consecutive buckets, including on a nice lefty finish at the rim, and Jackson knocked down a mid-range jumper at 17:25.
- DiGrande knocked down a free throw at 15:43 before picking off a pass at the top of the key less than a minute later and going in for a transition lay-up. Brown followed by blocking a baseline shot on the next possession and snagging the defensive board.
- Brown banked home a triple with 13:10 to go, and junior Walker Storey (Shelburne, Vt./Champlain Valley Union) made a trey from in front of the Saint Michael's bench at 7:12. Guzman later sparked a 7-2 spurt with a long jumper from the top of the key before drilling a three in transition from the far wing at 4:59.
- DiGrande scored consecutive hoops in the final 3:05, cutting through the lane and scoring through contact off of a Jackson pass before making a strong post move and laying in with 1:53 to go.
NEXT SAINT MICHAEL'S GAME
- Friday against Caldwell (N.J.) University during the Assumption College Tip-Off Classic, 4 p.m.