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We were warned that Vermont’s Anthony Lamb may be the best player we’ll face in our out-of-conference slate.  After a quiet first half, Lamb did erupt for 25 second-half points on un-godly shooting, and this game ended up being quite the struggle.  And speaking of struggles, we had plenty.

 

Vermont55
Virginia61

 

 

 

Positive

A win is a win.  This was a wildly entertaining match and featured Lamb having a Carsen Edwards kind of night.  (Boy, if that’s not an analogy that will make Hoos’ fans lose sleep…)  Kihei Clark scored a career-high 15 points on 5 – 7 shooting, and Mamadi Diakite played like a man with an NBA-sized chip on his shoulder.

Negative

Free throw shooting.  This will probably be an automatic feature for this season.  Sigh.  At first glance, the stat line doesn’t look so bad:  7 for 11.  But we struggled down the stretch when we should have been closing the Catamounts down.  In the last two minutes, Jay Huff missed his and-1 free throw and then made only 1 of 2 on his next trip, Clark missed the first half of a 1 and 1, and Braxton Key went 1 of 2.  Sabremetricians will tell you that a point is a point is a point and there is no such thing as “clutch.”  (Ken Pomeroy defines clutch as luck, for goodness’ sake.)  But fans know that not all points are the same and we made our last two minutes far more “interesting” than they needed to be.

Positive

3-point shooting.  For Clark, Diakite and Key.  They went a combined 8 – 12.

Negative

3-point shooting.  For everyone else.  Huff missed both of his threes, Morsell was 0 - 3, and Woldetensae chucked up six bricks.  Most of these were good looks.  Woldetensae and Morsell just look like backup JV players at this point.  At the 10-minute mark in the first half, I wrote down “2 – 7 from three” in my notebook.  I hadn’t even finished writing when I had to scratch it out for “2 – 8 from…”  Yep, I had to cross that out because we missed our third 3 in less than 41 seconds.

Negative

No Kody Stattmann.  He was ill, too sick to even be on the bench.

Negative

Jay Huff in the post.  He’s slow.  Ponderously slow.  He first three posts-ups resulted in a stripped ball, a foul, and what could have been a second turnover.

Positive

Cavalanche!  Vermont jumped out to 7-point lead, but the Cavs held Vermont scoreless for over 8.5 minutes to take the lead.  Then, with 5:25 left to play in the game, Lamb made all three of his free throws to give Vermont its last lead of the game.  The Virginia defense forced turnovers on four consecutive Vermont possessions (including a Mong00se-like effort from Morsell) to go up 57 – 49.  Vermont wouldn’t get within five points the rest of the game.  And that included our woeful shooting from the charity stripe down the stretch.

Positive

Diakite’s defense.  Anthony Lamb erupted for 25 second-half points and would finish the night 7 – 14 from 3.  Many of these were 3-4 feet behind the arc.  He was torching Key, who was playing him tough.  Lamb was just unconscious.  The entire Vermont game plan revolved on getting Lamb the ball deep.  On one possession, Vermont ran four consecutive screens. Key and Clark switched on every one, but Lamb got a shot off and was fouled by Key.  Lamb made all three free throws. Bennett had seen enough and put Diakite on Lamb. Lamb didn’t score again, and he missed all three of his long-range attempts.  Game. Set. And match.

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Vermont (November 19, 2019)