The first thing they teach you at refereeing school is don't let a game goto overtime. Given the opportunity, the refereeing crew made a call with 2.5 seconds left and sent Joey Accaoui to the free three line in a tie game. Accaoui, despite the five vowels, made both free throws and the Mount was unable to get off a shot in the final seconds as Vermont won a 71-69 game at Knott Arena.
Marqus Blakely showed exactly why he has been the America East Player of the Year the last two years (and will be again) as he scored 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the win. Maurice Joseph made 4-of-7 three pointers and added 14 as the Catamounts won the first game between the two schools.
Vermont took its largest lead of the game at 65-58 with 3:43 but the Mount rallied with 11 of the next 15 points to tie it at 69. Danny Thompson scored six of his eight points during that stretch including two layups in the last 21 seconds. His layup with 8 seconds left tied it at 69.
The Catamounts inbounded to Accaoui who worked the length of the floor and took a fadeway 16-footer that came up helplessly short. But Goode was whistled for a foul (a phantom one from my second deck vantage point) and Accaoui took advantage.
Jeremy Goode led the Mount with 20 points, while Jean Cajou had 12. Kelly Beidler chipped in with 11 and 9 rebounds, while Shawn Atupem had 11 before fouling out. The Mount shot the ball a little better, 44%, but was 23-of-45 on two point shots. And a disappointing 11-of-20 effort from the foulline cost the Mounties in a close game.
I'll have more thoughts tomorrow - feel free to post yours in the comments section.
Burlington Free Press