Matt Glass's putback with one tenth of a second on the game clock gave Vermont a dramatic 64-62 win over a very determined Siena team in Burlington Saturday afternoon. The Saints rallied from eight points down with just 1:36 to play, tying the game on a spinning layup by OD Anosike with 25 seconds left.
Anosike led all players with a career-high 24 points, and rounded out a double-double with 10 rebounds.
On the final play of the game, Vermont ran a high ball screen to free Brian Voelkel on the left wing. Voelkel then fired the ball across the court to Brendan Bald who got loose with a ball fake, but missed a wide open 18-footer from the right baseline. Glass came crashing in to save the day for the Catamounts.
The dramatic finish was a fitting end to an exciting non-league tilt between two Mid-Majors with recent NCAA Tournament success.
Siena played just six players, and when Brandon Walters fouled out with 3:52 left, the Saints were forced to go with a small rotation. The lineup helped force three key turnovers down the stretch.
Glass and Ben Crenca each had 13 points to lead Vermont. Voelkel stuffed the stat sheet with seven points, 14 rebounds and eight assists.
The Catamounts led by as many as nine in the first half, but just 32-29 at halftime thanks to a 14-7 Siena run capped off by a Davonte Beard 3-pointer.
Siena took its only lead, 36-34, on a Kyle Downey layup with 17:51 to play. Downey scored Siena's first six points of the second half, and ended with 15 points. He and Anosike played all 40 minutes, and both were very solid throughout.
Vermont used a 9-2 run to take a 54-46 lead with 7:36 left. Siena cut the deficit to 57-54 with 2:47 to play, but Vermont led 62-54 when Luke Apfeld layed it in with 1:36 on the clock, and then things got interesting.
The Saints got a layup from Hymes, and then forced back-to-back turnovers, taking advantage with baskets each time to cut the lead to two. Anosike was fouled on the final score, but missed the free throw. Freshman Rob Poole tipped free the rebounded, and Siena had it with a chance to tie. The Saints worked the ball around before working the ball back inside to Anosike who tied the game. The rally was made more impressive by the fact that Siena did it without any timeouts.
It was the third straight loss for the Saints after back-to-back wins to start the year. Still, the young Siena team can take plenty away from today's setback.
"I'm really happy with the effort," head coach Mitch Buonaguro said. "I love this team. They work hard, they listen and they never give up."