Cats survive foul fest

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Here’s a few leftovers from Sunday’s UVM-New Hampshire bash, which was as physical as an NFL game and took as long to play as an MLB playoff game. My watch had the contest lasting 2 hours, 45 minutes. That’s what 64 personal fouls will do.

The Cats gutted out an overtime win in a rough-and-tumble affair that had the flow of a glacier. There were seven disqualifications and three UNH  intentional fouls were called. Vermont took 55 foul shots and sank 40, both program records.

“The referees earned their pay,” UVM coach Mike Lonergan said. “I think there could have been another 20 foul shots (for UVM). I think Marqus gets fouled almost every play. I thought Garvey (Young) took a couple good hits. I thought the officiating was good. I liked that crew. It’s a hard game to referee. New Hampshire is hard to ref. But it’s to our benefit when they call it. At New Hampshire, if you look at the film, there wasn’t a whole lot of fouls called and that’s not good for us.”

In New Hampshire’s 75-56 win over UVM last month, each team was assessed 21 personal fouls.

UNH coach Bill Herrion wasn’t pleased with the discrepancy of the calls Sunday; his team went 20-for-32 from the line. “You want to get me arrested if I say what I really want to say?” he joked before the post-game news conference.

“We are playing good basketball, we really are. I really like my team, I like the way we are playing. You look at the stat sheet and the first thing that jumps at me is, you go on the road against a team that is fighting for first place in this league and a team that has been a measuring–stick program in this league for a number of years that everyone is trying to catch in front of a packed house. And you get outscored by 20 from the free-throw line and you lose in overtime,” said Herrion, who was hit with an early technical. “That to me is really disappointing. It’s really disappointing. I’ll leave it at that.”

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New Hampshire went 11-for-18 from 3-point range in its home win over Vermont last month.  The Wildcats were 2-for-14 with the 3-ball Sunday. The reason for the discrepancy: Vermont’s perimeter defense was more energetic and effective the second time around.

Just ask Tyrone Conley, the pride of Burlington who settled for seven points on 2-for-8 shooting after racking up 21 points in the first meeting against Vermont.

“They gave a little extra attention to me this time, guarded me a little harder and tried to keep the ball out of my hands,” Conley said. “It’s always nice to come home and play in front of a home-town crowd. Unfortunately, I didn’t play all that well.”

Conley, a junior, has combined for 22 points on 5-for-22 shooting in three homecoming games at Patrick Gym.

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Sunday’s win over UNH came five days after Vermont overcame a four-point, last-minute deficit to nip Boston University on the road.

“We are winning close games this year and I give our guys a lot of credit,” Lonergan said. “Most of it is (successful) foul shooting. It’s also unselfishness on our team, where no one is trying to make a big play or be the hero. Guys are trying to execute what we call in the timeout.”

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