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America East Leader Spotlight: Vermont PDF Print E-mail
Written by VT Sports Network News Feed   
Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Source: TheBracketBusters

Vermont is a new perennial powerhouse, at least in the America East, who have quietly chalked up a 14-6 record leading the conference. 

Thanks to the efforts of senior guard Mike Trimboli who leads the team with 15.8 points per game, 4.7 assists per game, and an outstanding 40 percent on threes, the Catamounts are currently first in the AEC with points (77.6 per game), assists (15.8 per game), and three-point percentage (38.1%).

But if they hold such a strong chokehold over their conference, then why are they only 5-2? The answer: the inability to get stops down the stretch.

On the other hand, Vermont has played a relatively strong schedule for their conference, but have suffered some disheartening losses as a result of it.

 Mike Trimboli (Mary Schwalm/AP)

Mike Trimboli (Mary Schwalm/AP)

The Catamounts started their season with a tough game against George Mason, which gave them a chance to immediately announce their arrival again this year, after having played in the conference championship games from 2003 to 2007 and making the NCAA tournament from 2003 to 2005. 

The Catamounts came into the public spotlight after an upset of Syracuse, but since then, have lost some of their luster in the public eye. 

Yet they eventually lost the game to George Mason by one point in overtime, a crushing loss.  Marqus Blakely, the team’s second leading scorer at 15.2 points per game, added 24 points, and Trimboli added nine points and seven assists in the Catamounts disheartened effort.

After a 31 point beat-down of Yale, Vermont faced another tough game, this time against ACC powerhouse, Maryland. 

Once again, the Catamounts forced overtime, but lost by 15 points this time around, getting outscored 17-2 in overtime.  However, Trimboli had a huge game with 17 points and five assists, and Blakely added a double-double with 23 points and eleven rebounds. 

After a three game winning streak against Delaware, Loyala (MD), and Dartmouth, Vermont went on to face their toughest opponent of the year in Pittsburgh, their lone chance at a national spotlight.

This game, however, was not as close as they had hoped.  Vermont ended up losing by 21 points, the biggest win for Pitt at that point in the season, but once again, Blakely was spectacular.  He added another double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds.

Lastly, in a game against Binghamton, a conference rival currently second in the conference, the Catamounts fell short, but once again in overtime.

 However, since this Binghamton game, Vermont has gone 5-1, suffering a loss only to Albany, and now lead the conference over Binghamton and Boston University (whom they have already won a game against), due to their overall record.

Vermont has some big upcoming games to help soldify their position as the leader of the America East. 

On February 4th, they will take on Binghamton for the second and last time in the regular season.  Other big games include both Boston University on February 11 and UMBC on February 19, which can both be seen on ESPN’s Gameplan.

Wins would solidify their reign over the conference and improve their chances at getting yet another tournament bid this season.

But the season-long question is one that must be solved: can they close out the final three minutes of a game?

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