Athena’s Lamb has career night in Vermont loss to Northeastern

Lamb’s career night came on 8-of-18 shooting and the sophomore was a perfect 15-for-15 at the charity stripe.(Photo: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports)

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BOSTON – Greece Athena graduate and current University of Vermont sophomore Anthony Lamb set a new career-high with 32 points but the Catamounts fell to former America East rival Northeastern 71-67 on Saturday night. Vermont drops to 6-4 while NU improves to 6-4.

Lamb’s career night came on 8-of-18 shooting and the sophomore was a perfect 15-for-15 at the charity stripe. He became the first UVM player to make at least 15 free throws in a game since teammate Trae Bell-Haynes accomplished the feat against Western Carolina in the 2016 CBI Tournament. Ernie Duncan added 14 points after making 5-of-8 attempts from the floor and dished out a pair of assists.

Northeastern had three players reach double figures as Donnell Gresham Jr. scored a team-high 17 points with five rebounds and three steals. Shawn Occeus was right behind Greshman Jr. with 16 points and Vasa Pusica followed with 12 points.

The former America East rivals traded baskets through the opening 10 minutes of the game and Vermont held an 18-17 advantage after Payton Henson banked a layup off the window. The Huskies responded and produced a 14-3 run over the next three and a half minutes.

UVM’s defense stepped up and held NU without a field goal over the last 6:04 of the period and managed a 12-4 run in the process. Cam Ward sank a tough buzzer-beating layup in the paint and sent the Catamounts into the locker room trailing 36-32.

In the second half, the Huskies slowly built a 10-point lead at the 8:38 mark but the Cats fought back once again. Lamb scored five of Vermont’s next seven points as UVM cut the deficit to 62-59 with six and a half minutes to play.

In the last two minutes, Lamb grabbed an offensive board off a missed free throw and laid it off the glass for the easy putback to keep UVM within 66-65. On Northeastern’s next possession, Occeus drained a three-pointer from the left wing but Lamb answered again with two free throws at the 1:27 mark, as Vermont trailed 69-67. With 17 tickets left on the clock, Pusica sealed the win for NU by hitting a pair of his own at the foul line.

Vermont returns to Catamount Country and hosts Siena on Monday (Dec. 11). The opening tip is set for 7 p.m. The University of Vermont will name center court in Patrick Gymnasium “Tom Brennan Court” at a ceremony preceding the game. The dedication is presented by the UVM Alumni Association and the ceremony will get underway at 6:45 p.m.

A two-time Section Five Class A1 Tournament MVP and four-time All Tournament Team member, Lamb led Greece Athena, under then head coach Jim Johnson, to three straight sectional titles. The Trojans advanced to the 2015 NYSPHSAA Class A title game where they fell to Scotia-Glenville (II), 54-49. Lamb, along with teammates Jay Sarkis and Zac DiSalvo were named to the All-Tournament team.

Lamb will return to the Blue Cross Arena on December 16th when the Catamounts take on St. Bonaventure. A 4 p.m. start time is slated on Les Harrison Court.

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