The records keep falling at the University of Vermont, where the mens' basketball team now owns the school's longest ever winning streak at sixteen games and counting.
Last night the Catamounts topped UMass-Lowell 87-66 for the sweet 16 winning streak mark, the second-longest current winning streak in the nation, and the team is one win shy of setting another mark for best regular season record in program history. John Becker's charges are now 24-5 on the season and have already secured a share of the America East conference title. One more victory and they'll surpass the best regular season record set by the 2004-2005 UVM team that went on to topple Syracuse in the NCAA tournament.
UMass-Lowell was little more than a speed bump en route to the Catamounts latest win. Freshman Anthony Lamb scored 24 points and Trae Bell-Haynes added 18. As always with this team, contributions were spread out across the floor, with Kurt Steidl and Payton Henson each scoring 11. Ernie Duncan and Josh Hearlihy were out sick, so the damage for UMass could have been even worse. UVM ends the regular season at home, playing host to Albany next Wednesday and then Stony Brook, which still has a chance to catch the Cats for the conference title, but the way UVM is playing right now, it doesn't seem likely.
The St. Michael's Purple Knights fell to Bentley 93-75 at the Ross Sports Center, but senior Matt Bonds continues to climb further into school history with impressive individual numbers, including his 18th double-double of the season on 15 points to go with 17 rebounds. Bonds is one double double shy of the matching the 19 he posted last season, most in program history since complete rebounding figures became available in 1981. Levi Holmes had a team high 17 points for the Purple Knights in the loss.
The St. Michael's women also lost to their Bentley counterparts 70-48, but senior Indira Evora reached a nice milestone for her career, recording her 1,000th career point in the game. Emily Ferreri led the Knights with 14 points.
The UVM women rode a career high 19 points from Lauren Handy in a 60-36 rout of UMass Lowell, with Hayley Robertson adding 15 in UVM's eighth victory of the season.
To the pro hardwood, where Isaiah Thomas and the Boston Celtics continue to stake their claim to becoming one of the most dangerous teams in the east. Thomas scored 13 of his total 33 points in the fourth quarter and the Celtics held off a late rally from an improving Philadelphia 76ers team to win 116-108 in Boston last night.
Thomas has now scored at least 20 points in forty straight games, and that ties a Celtics franchise mark by a pretty good player they called Hondo, John Havlicek, who set that mark in the 1971-'72 season. The Celtics have now won 11 of their last 12 and they were able to do it overcoming some of their own sloppy play last night, committing 24 turnovers yet still scoring enough to come away with the win. Boston has one more game before the all-star break Thursday, taking on the Bulls in Chicago.
One note from the NHL, where Jaromir Jagr celebrated his 45th birthday yesterday by recording his 1,900th career point in the Florida Panthers 6-5 overtime win against the San Jose Sharks. The great Gordie Howe played pro hockey until the age of 52 when he finally retired as a member of the Hartford Whalers, and the way Jagr is going it doesn't seem out of the question that he could actually retire older than Mr. Hockey did.