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Vermont Catamounts vs Buffalo Bulls basketball recap: Bearden finds his shot in 77-71 win

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Men's Basketball made a little bit of history this evening, topping Vermont for the first time in program history in a 77-71 win that gave them the championship in the undercard 'Springfield' bracket of the Hall of Fame Tipoff Classic. Lamonte Bearden led the Bulls with 20 points int he win.

As they did against North Carolina A&T, Buffalo trailed early thanks to strong three-point shooting from the opponent while floundering a bit on offense themselves. It took longer to catch Vermont than the Aggies, but when the UB offense started to set up, they found success and pulled within a single possession at the half.

Strong defense and better, sometimes clutch, shooting propelled UB to a lead for much of the second half, and the entirety of the last 13 minutes. Buffalo's largest lead came with a minute left, good news not only in a come-from-behind win, but for a team playing their fifth game in ten days.

UB struggled from distance, but Willie Conner in particular was the victim of some bad bounces. Inside the arc, the winners shot 35% to go with a very strong 21-26 from the free throw line. Bearden's 20 was just his second career 20-point performance, and he was joined in strong games from Blake Hamilton and Conner, who each had 14. Freshman Nick Perkins added 9 points on 4-6 shooting and five rebounds in just 17 minutes.

The team now gets some much-needed rest before a rivalry match against Canisius this Saturday in Alumni Arena.