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Terriers bounced; Late rally falls short in quarters

Brian Moritz
The Boston Herald. (Mar. 5, 2006):
VESTAL, N.Y. - It felt like 2005 all over again at the Binghamton University Eve
nts Center.
The sixth-seeded University of Vermont men's basketball team, the three-time def
ending conference champion, turned back the clock yesterday afternoon and upset
third-seeded Boston University, 64-61, in the America East tournament quarterfin
als. "Coming into the game, we were saying that we're still the champions," said
Catamounts freshman point guard Mike Trimboli, who had 12 points. "We're just t
rying to carry on the tradition."
Vermont (12-16), which returned just one starter from last season's NCAA Tournam
ent team that upset Syracuse in the first round, will play second-seeded Bingham
ton at noon today in the semifinals.
The Terriers (12-16), who entered the tournament on a three-game winning streak,
nearly erased a 10-point deficit in the final four minutes. But freshman Marque
s Johnson missed a potential game-tying free throw with nine seconds left.
Vermont, meanwhile, held on thanks to 18 consecutive free throws in the second h
alf.
"Our free throw shooting was huge," first-year Vermont coach Mike Lonergan said.
"It helped us overcome our turnovers and mistakes."
Yesterday's game was similar to both regular-season matchups between the schools
. BU won each - a one-point victory at Agganis Arena and an overtime win last we
ek in Vermont.
"I don't want to offer up any excuses or take anything away from Vermont," BU co
ach Dennis Wolff said. "It is hard to beat a team three times in one season, but
we've done it before." The Terriers jumped out to a seven-point lead in the fir
st half, but Vermont tied the game by halftme.
BU freshman Corey Hassan (game-high 21 points) hit a 3-pointer early in the seco
nd half to give the Terriers a five-point lead.
"Corey is one of the best freshmen we've ever had here," Wolff said.
But Vermont responded with a 12-2 run to go ahead by five. They extended that le
ad to 10 with just over four minutes to go before BU rallied.
Hassan started the surge with a 3 with 4:16 to go.
"Corey hit that big 3-pointer, and the momentum started to switch our way," said
BU senior Kevin Gardner (19 points).
Senior Shaun Wynn then converted a three-point play with 33 seconds to go, drawi
ng BU to 61-59.
On Vermont's ensuing possession, Trimboli threw a cross-court pass that Bryan Ge
ffen intercepted. After a timeout, Johnson drove the lane and drew Trimboli's fi
fth foul with nine seconds to go.
Johnson hit the first free throw but missed the second. After two Ryan Schneider
free throws gave Vermont a three-point lead, Wynn (12 points) hit 1-of-2 from t
he charity stripe with six seconds left to draw the Terriers to within two again
. But that was as close as they got.
"This game was a lot like the first two games we played," Wolff said. "The ball
bounced our way in those games, and they did a good job of getting the bounces t
oday."
COPYRIGHT 2006 Boston Herald

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