Vermont Moves One Step Closer to Another AE Title
Final Score: Vermont 98 – NJIT 59
Good God. Talk about a statement win. Vermont (26-5) took NJIT(11-18) out to the woodshed Sunday afternoon, nearly dropping a cool 100 points and slaughtered the Highlanders by 39-points. At the end of the day a win is a win no matter how big or small, but man oh man does this one feel good.
The Catamounts now move on to the America East Semifinals this Wednesday, as they host the sixth seed Binghamton Bearcats. Vermont swept Binghamton outright in the regular season, winning by an average margin of 24-points in those two contests. The Bearcats looked good as they pulled off the upset over New Hampshire, but early reports indicate that their leading guard, Jacob Falko, could potentially miss Wednesday’s affair as he went down with an injury late and had a noticeable limp. Regardless, Vermont still needs to play with the same level of intensity even if Falko is unable to suit up. Let’s keep this train rolling.
Sheeeeesh! Where to begin. Vermont has already put forth some great team performances this year, but Sunday afternoons shellacking of NJIT arguably takes the cake. Depth was on display, as six different Catamounts scored at least 10 points but even more impressive was the fact that all 12 Vermont players that got on the court scored at least two points. This was just a win, it was a statement.
Vermont’s big three of Ben Shungu, Ryan Davis and Isaiah Powell get a ton of credit – and rightfully so, but it’s been the play of Vermont’s Green Goblins that showcase just how damn talented this team is from top to bottom. The Green Goblins aka the bench unit, was masterful all game. Aaron Deloney (11 points), Nick Fiorillo (12 points) and Kam Gibson (12 points) shot a combined 8-12 (66%) from deep. Throw in the conductor, Robin Duncan and his team high 9 assists and 7 rebounds and you got an offense of straight gas.
Everything was clicking for the Catamounts Sunday afternoon. As a whole, Vermont shot nearly 60% from the field (59.7%) and was equally as deadly from the perimeter (44.8%). The 39-point landslide win was also the largest margin of victory all season for the Cats and a new program best for America East playoff win under Coach John Becker. Cats woke up feeling dangerous.
Cat’s got the win, nearly broke the triple-digit barrier and everyone on the team scored. Sure, there’s always a few things you try to identify and clean up but this was an absolute clinic. I’ll leave it up to the coaching staff to find those miniscule faults, but from my perspective this was as close to a perfect game as you can get. We’re on to Binghamton.
Not a damn thing. We’re on to Binghamton.
Next Game: Home vs Binghamton (America East Semifinals)
Game Time: Wednesday, March 9th, 7:00pm (ESPN+)