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Vermont rolls to second NCAA win

Matt Glass, rear, and Luke Apfeld embrace after Vermont’s victory over Lamar, its first in the NCAA Tournament since an upset win in 2005.

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Matt Glass, rear, and Luke Apfeld embrace after Vermont’s victory over Lamar, its first in the NCAA Tournament since an upset win in 2005.

DAYTON, Ohio — It has been seven years since Vermont's signature win.

The Catamounts think it's about time for another.

North Carolina, are you paying attention?

Freshman Four McGlynn came off the bench to score 18 and Vermont grabbed an early lead and hung on to beat Lamar 71-59 on Wednesday night in a first-round NCAA Tournament game.

Matt Glass added 11 points and Sandro Carissimo 10, and Brian Voelkel had 12 rebounds to help the Catamounts earn a spot against the top-seeded Tar Heels on Friday in Greensboro, N.C.

Their only previous NCAA Tournament win was a 60-57 upset of fourth-seeded Syracuse by the 13th-seeded Catamounts in the first round in 2005.

"The Syracuse game was a huge win for Vermont and the community," Voelkel said. "Obviously, we're going to come into North Carolina with a lot of confidence, and hopefully we can pull off another upset and give the people of Burlington something to cheer about."

The Catamounts (24-11) shot 50 percent from the field, blending an inside presence with McGlynn's touch from the perimeter.

But the America East tournament champions will be severely tested down where the skies are Carolina Blue.

"Obviously, North Carolina is one of the best teams in the country," first-year Catamounts coach John Becker said. "They've got a roster of future NBA stars. We're just going to do what we do: continue to play our brand of basketball."

McGlynn, the only player in Division I to lead his team in scoring (12) without starting a game and yet playing in every contest, provided punch to Vermont's offense.

He entered in the first half and immediately ignited a 13-0 rally that gave the Catamounts a lead that they never relinquished.

"It was my first NCAA Tournament game. I thought I played pretty well," McGlynn said after hitting 5 of 9 shots from the field, including 3 of 5 3-pointers, and adding 5 of 6 free throws. "I got in a good flow. I give all the credit to my teammates."

Vermont's ability to hang on to a lead has been a rarity at University of Dayton Arena. Both Mississippi Valley State and Iona built big leads then blew them in first-night losses to Western Kentucky and BYU, respectively.

Devon Lamb and Mike James each had 16 points for Lamar (23-12), which had won six in a row since first-year coach Pat Knight ripped his seniors after a loss in late February. He said they were "stealing money being on scholarship" and that his players had problems "off the court, on the court, classroom, drugs."

But after the NCAA loss, an emotional Knight fought back tears as he spoke about players who he said would turn the program around.

"It's obvious. … I think these guys have done a heck of a job. If people disagree, they're morons," he said.

NIT: Rion Brown scored 18 to lead host Miami (20-12) to a 66-50 win over Valparaiso in the opening round. The Hurricanes finished the game with a 16-0 run over the final 3:41. Miami played without leading scorer Durand Scott, who began serving a six-game suspension after he was declared ineligible last week for receiving impermissible benefits. … Frantz Massenat had 18 points and 14 assists and Chris Fouch scored 19 as host Drexel (28-6) shook off the disappointment of not making the NCAA Tournament by trouncing Central Florida 81-56. … Rodney Williams tied his career high with 21 points, Austin Hollins had 16 and visiting Minnesota (20-14) beat La Salle 70-61. … Seth Tuttle sank two free throws with 1.3 seconds left and finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead visiting Northern Iowa (20-13) to a 67-65 win over Saint Joseph's.

Around the nation

CENTRAL MICHIGAN: Coach Ernie Zeigler was fired with two years left on his contract. Zeigler was 75-111 in six seasons and 11-21 this season.

USC: Sophomore forward Garrett Jackson was granted permission to transfer.

VILLANOVA: Junior guard Maalik Wayns, the team's leading scorer, will enter his name in the NBA draft. Wayns has not hired an agent, keeping open the option of returning for his final season of eligibility.

WOMEN: Kent State fired coach Bob Lindsay after going 6-21 this season, its third losing season in 23 under Lindsay, who went 418-256.

Vermont rolls to second NCAA win 03/14/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 10:46pm]
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