UMBC beats Vermont 65-62, wins America East title, and gets first trip to NCAA in 10 years
BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Jairus Lyles hit a long 3-pointer with less than a second left, lifting Maryland Baltimore County over top-seeded Vermont 65-62 Saturday in the America East championship game.
Second-seeded UMBC (24-10) had lost 23 straight times to the Catamounts over the last 10 years, but rallied to earn its first NCAA Tournament trip since 2008.
Vermont (27-7) led 57-48, but didn't make a basket in the final 8:21.
Lyles scored 27 points, going 5-for-7 from 3-point range. He tied it with a deep 3 with 1:01 to go, setting up his last-second heroics.
Tre Bell-Haynes scored 18 for the Catamounts.
Lyles scored 15 points in the first half and closed the period with a late 3 for a 37-35 edge. Vermont responded on the defensive end to start the second half, holding the Retrievers to just two baskets on their first 15 tries over the first 12 minutes.
Three free throws by Everett Duncan and a three-point play by Bell-Haynes capped a 12-3 run that put Vermont ahead 47-39. The Catamounts led by nine several times in the second half.
Peyton Henson scored 14 points, Ernie Duncan added 10 and Drew Urquhart had seven and 10 rebounds for Vermont.
UMBC: Had lost twice to Vermont this season by a total of 45 points.
Vermont: Outrebounded UMBC 32-26, but committed 13 turnovers leading to 23 points for the Retrivers.
UMBC: Will find out Sunday where it will play in the NCAA Tournament. In the Retrievers' only other appearanced, they lost to Georgetown 66-47 in 2008.
Vermont: Missed a chance to clinch its second straight trip to the NCAA tourney. The Catamounts lost to Purdue 80-70 last year.