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2015 CBI: Vermont Catamounts hold on for a win over Hofstra

Ten years ago the Vermont Catamounts upset Syracuse in the NCAA first round as a 13-seed. Wednesday night, they moved past Hofstra in a 85-81 win on their home court to head to the second round of the CBI Tournament.

Making their seventh straight post season appearance, the University of Vermont took the court against the Hofstra Pride, who are making their first appearance since 2011, 11th in total. Both teams lost in the semifinals of their conference tournaments and were looking for another way to extend their seasons. The last time these teams met was back when Hofstra was part of the America East back in 2001.

Like their conference counterpart New Hampshire, Vermont also started the game with a run, going up 9-0 before before the Pride could make their first basket. There was massive miscommunication within Hofstra's team. They weren't making baskets but the more importantly, they weren't getting any offensive rebounds. Their first offensive rebound came with 8:01 left in the first half thanks to Moussa Kone.

Ethan O'Day and Dre Wills wasted no time in getting on the board for Vermont. O'Day scored the first four, ending with eight at the half and Wills scored seven, missing one free throw. Their valiant effort made sure the Catamounts lead the entire half. The Hofstra Pride not only couldn't take the lead, but they couldn't even tie, managing to cut the lead as slim as one point, but never getting over the top.

The second half wasn't any better for the Pride. They managed to wrack up nine fouls in 12 minutes. By the time the under eight minute time out was called, three of Hofstra's players already had four fouls each. The Pride would have two players foul out and continue to be plagued by foul trouble to the end. The only starter on the court who managed to stay foul free the entire game was Brian Bernardi.

While some Hofstra fans might not agree with every call, the team was still able to rally behind a small deficit. It wasn't until Dion Nesmith fouled out with a questionable call that riled up the crowd, where the Pride started to look deflated. Every foul from then on was a chance for free points for the Catamounts.

Juan'ya Green hit a three with 48 seconds remaining in the game to give Hofstra its last opportunity to think upset as they pulled to 83-81. O'Day was fouled but missed a free throw, keeping it a one-possession game. But Green's quick three misfired and Hofstra was forced to foul quickly. Ameen Tanksley picked up his fourth, and another chance at the line for the Catamounts. Though O'Day missed one of his two free throws, there wasn't enough time on the clock and Vermont walked away victorious.

The Hofstra Pride end their season with a 20-14 record while UVM will go on to face the winner of Radford and Deleware State.