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UVM Rules Big Green Again

  • The University of Vermont's Trae Bell-Haynes (2) makes a layup contested by Dartmouth College's Brendan Barry (15) on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, during a game between Dartmouth and Vermont in Hanover, N.H. Vermont won, 91-78. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Dartmouth College's Brendan Barry (15) dribbles through the University of Vermont's Drew Urguhart (25) and Ernie Duncan (20) on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, during a game between Dartmouth and Vermont in Hanover, N.H. Vermont won, 91-78. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Dartmouth College's Adrease Jackson (33) reacts after putting down a dunk on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, during a game between Dartmouth and the University of Vermont in Hanover, N.H. Vermont won, 91-78. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • The University of Vermont's Trae Bell-Haynes (2) makes a move to get by Dartmouth College's Brendan Barry (15) and Ian Sistare (5) for a layup on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, during a game between Dartmouth and Vermont in Hanover, N.H. Vermont won, 91-78. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Hanover — By the time Dartmouth College’s men’s basketball team found its offense early in the second half against the University of Vermont, it was too late.

Trae Bell-Haynes, the Catamounts’ shifty point guard, was heating up and UVM’s lead was already insurmountable in a 91-78 victory on Wednesday night at Leede Arena.

Bell-Haynes finished the game a perfect 10-for-10 from the floor, 6-for-6 from the line and had a game-high 27 points for the defending America East Conference champs.

The Big Green never fully recovered from an ugly first half that featured a 20-5 Catamount run and 10 Dartmouth turnovers, despite a Taylor Johnson 3-pointer that cut UVM’s lead to five points. Vermont scored 21 of its points on turnovers. The hosts fell behind by as many as 16 points in the game and trailed from start to finish.

“It’s hard when you play a solid second half, you’re shooting over 60 percent, you cut the lead the six with some momentum, but you’ve got yourself in such a hole in the first half — that’s because we didn’t take care of the basketball,” Dartmouth second-year head coach Dave McLaughlin said. “Some of that is truly not valuing the ball. Some of that is just having young guys. … Our ability not to take care and value the little things in the first half made us play from behind the entire time.”

The result was UVM’s 10th straight win over the Big Green in the 102nd meeting between the two teams. The Catamounts have won 18 of the last 19 contests; Dartmouth holds the overall advantage, 57-45.

But Vermont head coach John Becker left the game not pleased with his team’s overall defensive effort.

“They made a lot of 3s,” said Becker, his team 12-5 overall. “They shot 57 percent. We’ve got to watch the tape. We’re not going to make judgments about it right now. But obviously, it wasn’t our most focused effort. Maybe that’s what happens when you play a non-league game in the middle of league play.

“They made shots,” he added. “I just thought our defense wasn’t very good.”

Vermont — which is 10-5 in non-league play — took the game over on a 20-5 run midway through a first half that mostly served as a showcase for UVM inside man Payton Henson. Dartmouth had no answer for the Catamount big man, who racked up nine points, a 3-pointer and two rebounds before halftime.

It didn’t help that Dartmouth, which fell Harvard, 61-51, on Saturday thanks to a sloppy first half, got off to another slow start in front of the home crowd.

“(I’m) disappointed in how we’ve gotten into a groove of playing-from-behind,” said Johnson, who finished the game with a team-high 17 points, including three from behind the arc. “That’s not how you want to play the games. But definitely proud of how everyone stayed with it. We gave ourselves a chance to be right there. Hopefully we can figure out a way to stop playing from behind and play with a little bit more confidence in the beginning of the game.”

Sophomore forward Will Emery got the Big Green going after intermission before Dartmouth’s sharpshooters got hot. The hosts were 7-for-11 from 3-point land in the second half and shot a whopping 63.3 percent from the floor as Dartmouth mounted its comeback.

But Bell-Haynes had other plans. The UVM senior from Toronto scored 14 of UVM’s first 18 points in the second half, keeping pace with Dartmouth team trying to play catch-up.

“I got a couple of transition layups early,” Bell-Haynes said. “In the second half, my teammates were finding me the ball. ... I was able to find some lanes, be slippery and get to the basket early. I got hot and kept that going late.”

Added Becker: “Trae bailed us out tonight. Perfect from the floor, perfect from the line. We’re able to get out of here with a big road win.”

Henson finished the game with 20 points and four rebounds for the Catamounts, who improve to 12-5. Cam Ward had 14 points and Ernie Duncan finished with nine.

Dartmouth’s Chris Knight finished the game with 14 points. Brendan Berry scored 13 points and was a perfect 3-for-3 from behind the arc. Emery had 10 points and five rebounds. Miles Wright — coming off a 23 point, seven rebound performance against the Crimson — was held to only nine points and four rebounds.

“This is one of those games where you want to go watch video right away,” McLaughlin said. “Why, what, when, how ... I want to go watch that tonight. Not with the team tonight, but I want to get at it and see where can we make some tweaks because, here’s the thing: with a young team like this, you make a couple of tweaks, these guys figure some things out, you can take a gigantic step pretty quickly.”

The game was billed a mismatch despite it’s missing star power. UVM is playing without sophomore forward Anthony Lamb, who suffered a foot fracture just before the new year and has been ruled out indefinitely. Dartmouth is still reeling from the preseason departure of Ivy League rookie of the year and second-team all-league pick Evan Boudreaux, who graduated early to have two years of NCAA eligibility remaining as a graduate transfer student.

But Becker said he sees progress in his Twin State rival, even if the progress hasn’t found its way to the scoreboard just yet.

“Our program has been at a pretty high level the last decade,” Becker said. “We’ve gotten the better of a bunch of teams. Dartmouth has gone through a bunch of coaches. But Dartmouth’s program is on the rise. It’s getting better. We’ve just been fortunate to come out on the winning end the last decade. That can be said about a lot of teams.”

Both teams return to action on Saturday, with Dartmouth traveling to Boston College (11-6) and the Catamounts hosting Stony Brook (7-10).

Josh Weinreb can be reached at jweinreb@vnews.com or 603-727- 3306.