UMass Lowell Connector Logo

River Hawks lose halftime lead to Vermont to 61-46 finish

Junior forward Kayla Gibbs scored 13 points Thursday night, the sixteenth straight game in which she tallied over ten points. (Courtesy of UMass Lowell Athletics)

Alexa Hyde
Connector Editor

UMass Lowell (3-16, 0-6 AE) fell 46-61 to the Vermont Catamounts (5-13, 2-4 AE) on Thursday night in an America East matchup.

Led offensively by junior forward Kayla Gibbs, the River Hawks overcame an early deficit to hold onto the lead until halfway through the third quarter, where Vermont scored 17 unanswered points and propelled themselves towards the victory.

“We took a lot of outside shoots that weren’t falling and they were getting a lot of free throw opportunities… we just became more and more deflated as the foul calls piled on,” said Head Coach Jenerrie Harris on the game-changing third quarter.

UMass Lowell started off slow on offense, and seemed unable to contain Vermont on defense, letting the Catamounts get off to a quick six-point lead. The River Hawks didn’t get on the board until over three minutes in, with freshman guard Markayla Sherman notching the first points for UMass Lowell.

After struggling to gain their footing offensively, the River Hawks put up nine points and shut out Vermont to gain a 9-6 lead with only three remaining minutes in the opening quarter. The River Hawks ended quarter one on top, with a 14-10 lead.

Gibbs earned five points in the quarter, and went on to finish with 13 points in the game. Sherman also ended the night with 13 points. Senior forward Tyshay Britten also had a strong game, impacting both the offense and defense.

“[Britten] is definitely somebody that we like to have out there. She is a huge defensive presence and I think that she’s starting to know her role a little bit more,” said Coach Harris.

Vermont struck first in the second quarter, but UMass Lowell responded quickly, putting up six points to earn their largest lead of the half. Despite high defensive pressure in the second half of the quarter, Vermont put up 15 points compared the River Hawks’ 13.

With five minutes remaining in the first half, the Catamounts were able to tie things up at 20-20. Gibbs and senior guard Asia Mitchell-Owens put up seven points for the River Hawks to go into the half with a two-point lead.

After the half, UMass Lowell put up another six points early on. However, a big momentum shift that occurred after a Vermont timeout just under the seven-minute mark proved to be a game changer. The visiting Catamounts put up 18 points following the timeout while UMass Lowell was only able to convert two to end the quarter.

Vermont outscored the River Hawks 22-10 in the third, and entered the final quarter with a 47-37 lead over the home team. The Catamounts also kept UMass Lowell from scoring in much of the third quarter. The River Hawks saw a seven-minute-long scoring drought in the period, ended in the final seconds.

Going into the final quarter, an exhausted River Hawks team was unable to keep up defense pressure on Vermont. The Catamounts earned the largest lead of the night as the game wound down, putting up 17 points over UMass Lowell with just over seven minutes to play in the game.

The River Hawks’ scored only nine points in the fourth period despite making opportunities and driving the ball to the basket. To end the night, the team converted only 19 of 54 shoots and made just 4 out of 20 three pointers.

UMass Lowell was able to slow down Vermont’s momentum in the closing minutes, and kept the visitors to 14 points in the quarter in the 46-61 defeat.

The River Hawks travel to Maryland to face off against UMBC on Sunday for a 1 pm America East showdown.

Related posts