Just when you thought Marqus Blakely’s highlights couldn’t get much more impressive, he does something like he did Wednesday night in a win crucial win over Maine.
Just ask Maine’s Terrance Mitchell, who was posterized by the University of Vermont’s high-flier. Blakely soared over Mitchell on a fast break, threw down a massive dunk and drew a foul on the play. It whipped Patrick Gym’s fans into a frenzy during the first half and set the tone for a 64-51 win, which boosted the Catamounts into second place.
Was it among his top-five career dunks, I asked during the press conference?
“I was just talking to (UVM sports information associate) Ben Dickie about that,” Blakely said. “He said it was top-5. I said it was top three. I mean, we’ll see.”
And there you have it. Perhaps no one will be happier to see Blakely graduate than Maine coach Ted Woodward, who has probably lost count the number of times Blakely has lit up his squad.
“We knew we just couldn’t allow (Vermont) to get some easy baskets early and I think they just do a wonderful job of getting easy baskets, whether it’s offensive rebounds or fast breaks or points off turnovers,” Woodward said. “You look at the first-half stats and that was the majority of the point that they got. That’s what they feed off of. Obviously Blakely has a lot to do with that. He’s the guy that creates offense off of his defense and has been doing it in his entire career.
“And obviously that’s a big reason that the crowd gets going,” Woodward. “It’s just how he plays and the energy he brings to the building.”
While Blakely was the show stopper, teammate Garvey Young was the unsung hero.
Although the sophomore guard didn’t score a point, his defense was the chief reason Maine’s Gerald McLemore, who was averaging 14.5 ppg coming into the game, was held to five points on 2-for-10 shooting.
“Not too many times you see someone score zero points and have a huge impact on the game, UVM coach Mike Lonergan said about Young. “I thought his defense was incredible on McLemore, who is one of the best scorers in our league.”