The Vermont Tech Men's Basketball team travelled to Auburn Maine to face University of Maine August and Central Maine. Saturday saw the knights face UMA in a tough battle that was won 88-73, while it took two Overtimes on sunday to decide a winner in Sunday's matchup with the Mustangs.
In Saturdays game, UMA started strong and jumped out to a 6 point lead. The Knights settled as the half went on, and took a 6 point lead into the break.
The first 6 mins of the second half were evenly contested until the knights opened up a 15 point lead with 11 minutes to go. The moose would not back down as the countered with a 9-0 run to cut the lead to 6. That would be a close as it got as the knights finished strong to win 88-73.
Head Men's Coach Alex Tyrrell was happy to get the opening win of the season.
"It was great to start the season with a win", said coach Tyrrell. "UMA are a tough team to play. The way they shoot the ball and play with energy is always impressive to see. Our Guys did some things really well and some things not so well but this early in the year that is to be expected".
The Knights followed up Saturday's performance with a double overtime thriller against Central Maine. Eric Montanez scored a lay up with .6 seconds left on the clock in the second OT giving the Knights a 93-91 win.
Coach Tyrrell was extremely proud of his teams fight and spirit.
"The guys battled today and no matter the circumstance did not give in", said Coach Tyrrell. "We had multiple guys make big plays to contribute to this win."
The Knights started the game slow falling behind as much as 14 in the first half. The mustangs swarming press and intense defense forced turnovers to give the mustangs easy scoring opportunities. As the half time Buzzer sounded Central Maine led the game 44-33.
The second half started well for the Knights as they cut the lead to six and controlled the ball against CMs defense. After an Eric Montanez layup the men had cut the lead to 4 with 14 minutes to play.
The next 12 minutes of play were hard fought but Vermont Tech could not cut the lead below 4 as the mustangs led 71-67 with 2 minutes to play.
Down 2 with 11 seconds to play Tyrone Hilson rebounded a free throw miss, took the ball the length of the court, and attacked the rim. He missed the first layup then got his own rebound. He missed the second attempt, but got his own rebound again. With his third attempt, he scored the basket to tie the game as time expired.
The first overtime saw the Knights take a 5 point lead but as much of the game showed neither team would give in. Central Maine score tough baskets to tie he game and send it to a second overtime.
With two minutes to play in the second overtime, Central Maine took a 5 point lead.
The Knights settled. Jonathan Pritchett made 4 clutch free throws at the line. Tre Douglas forced a turnover, then scored a big layup. Drake Perry, after playing big minutes all weekend, stepped across and took a charge to give the knights one more chance to score. With that chance, JP Pritchett found Eric Montanez with the long ball for the winning basket.
"Central Maine is such a tough place to play let alone win a game", said coach Tyrrell. "The guys should be very proud of there effort today".
Tyrone Hilson had a huge game with 24 points and 21 rebound. Drake Perry scored 25 points to go along with 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Eric Montanez had 17points, while Jonathan Pritchett dishes out 8 assists.
The Knights improve to 2-0 and will next face Northern Vermont University-Lyndon on Thursday night.