While everyone has been worrying about the NCAA tournament and whether Kentucky will make a perfect season or how badly broken your bracket is, the lesser advertised postseason tournaments are underway. The University of Vermont took the floor on their home court, hosting their very first postseason game, against Randford in the quarterfinals of the CBI tournament.
Playing in front of a very packed house at Patrick Gym, UVM had everything going for them. Their fans were so packed in that there were seats under the basket, a place usually reserved for the spirit teams, and there were definitely some people standing. With one of the hardest gyms, if not the hardest gym to play in the America East now that Stony Brook has a new arena, packed with green and gold, and Radford far enough out of their comfort zone, the Highlanders didn't stand a chance.
The first half was mainly a back and forth, shot for shot environment. The highest lead the Catamounts could maintain was five points. Radford's Javonte Green also established himself, picking up 11 points in the first half.
The action got heated in the second half. With 12:41 remaining, Cameron Jones picked up a foul under the UVM basket which Green apparently didn't particularly like. Some words were said and Green was called for a technical foul.
But once Vermont had themselves a cushy lead, the panic from the Radford Highlanders was very apparent.
After committing just two turnovers the first half, the Highlanders picked up nine turnovers in the second half, the first three coming within the first three minutes. Their fouls also added up, totaling 27 in the game, and Green fouled out in what would be the final game of his college basketball career. While his season ends, he picked up quite an accolade. He's the first player to reach 1,900 points, 1,000 rebounds and 200 steals for Radford.
All but one of the Catamount's starters hit double digits. Hector Harold who was battling a bout of the flu spent minimal time on the court but still managed to bring in a block and an assist. Trae Bell-Haynes lead the way, ending with a team-high 17 points, seven coming from free throws. Ethan O'Day ended with 16 points on 7 of 12 shooting. Kurt Steidl (12 points) and Dre Wills (11 points) also contributed in the win.
Vermont's 78-71 win has them headed to the semifinals. They will have to wait and see who their opponent will be as the field is reseeded after the quarterfinals.