The University of Vermont men's basketball team had four players reach double digits in points last night, and when the dust settled, the Catamounts had their winning streak well into double figures as well, now at eleven wins in a row after a 68-54 victory against Binghamton in upstate New York.
Trae Bell-Haynes led the way with 21 points, while also pulling down eight rebounds and the other streak is still intact also. UVM hasn't lost to an America East opponent in 27 games dating back to last season, that's a best-in-the-nation run, and as long as we're checking off milestones, the win last night was number 320 in program history, which is tops for all America East teams.
This latest win was not as easy as the final score might indicate. Binghamton kept UVM close into the start of the second half when the Catamount lead was just three points, but a 16-6 UVM run put the kibosh on any hopes for a Bearcat comeback. The Catamounts stay on the road for a contest against UMBC Saturday.
Elsewhere in men's hoops, Sean Leflore led all scorers with 19 points as Green Mountain College defeated Johnson State 70-56 in a North Atlantic Conference match-up. Vernon Slater had 14 for the Badgers and both teams now sports similar records, the Eagles improving to 7-10 while the Badgers fall to 7-11.
The Saint Michael's Purple Knights played a thriller on the road against against southern New Hampshire last night, taking the regional powerhouse into overtime and down to the wire, falling just two points shy of a major upset in a 96-94 loss.
Levi Holmes III has taken his game to new heights this season, following in the footsteps of his former teammate Matt Bonds, who graduated last year, and last night Holmes put on a dazzling show, pouring in a game-high 38 points while tying a St. Mike's program record by knocking down ten three pointers in the process. The ten buckets from beyond the mark ties the performance set by James Sorrentine back in 2008. Sophomore Thomas Jackson III also had a strong game, with 20 points on the night, and the Purple Knights had a shot to win or tie with the final possession in overtime, the potential dagger just missing its mark as time expired.
Southern New Hampshire improves to 12-8 overall and they're a game above .500 in Northeast ten conference play, and while the Purple Knights fall to 5-15 with the loss and have just two wins against NE10 opponents this year, this is the kind of game that puts other teams in the conference on notice that the Purple Knights punch far above their weight, and their record on paper doesn't necessarily reflect their performance on the court.
In women's college hoops the women of Saint Mike's also gave their southern New Hampshire counterparts all they could handle, falling 76-69 in Manchester. The Purple Knights got balanced scoring with juniors Samantha Delaney and Emily Ferreri each contributing 17 points, tying southern New Hampshire's Kylie Lorenzen for the game high. It was still a one possession game with less than two minutes to play before the Penmen pulled away for the win, running their record to 14-7 while the Purple Knights fall to 7-13.
Elsewhere, Binghamton topped UVM 62-48 despite a strong game off the bench from Hayley Robertson, who scored 11 points and was the only Catamount in double figures. The loss drops UVM to 6-15 on the season while the Bearcats improve to 15-7.
On the pro hardwood, the Boston Celtics were missing the services of Kyrie Irving, who couldn't play in t Boston's contest against the NY Knicks last night due to a quad injury, but Terry Rozier made certain the Celtics wouldn't even come close to having the absence of their best player be a factor in the outcome.
Rozier started in Irving's place and just went shredded the Knicks defense, recording a triple double with 17 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists and led Boston to a blow-out 103-73 in Boston. The only Knick who could hold his head high after this one was Enes Kanter, who had a double double with 17 points and 17 rebounds but the Knicks as a team shot just 32 percent from the floor and saw their modest two game winning streak come to an emphatic halt.
In the NHL, the NY Islanders are one of those playoff bubble teams in the tight Metropolitan division, but if they keep playing like they did last night in a 5-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, they'll be forgetting about the post-season and wondering if they can convince their superstar forward John Tavares to stay in the fold.
But that's not Toronto's problem. The Leafs are just glad to regain their offensive swagger, especially at home, with Kasperi Kapanen, Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner all lighting the lamp last night against a beleaguered Thomas Greiss, who made 45 saves on 50 shots and was probably wondering whether his defensemen were off visiting the Hall of Fame during the game. Justin Holl, who's logged many many minutes in the minors made his NHL debut for the Leafs last night, and guess what? He scored his first ever NHL goal in front of the home town crowd.