Mitch's Sports Report: UVM Proves No Pushover For Kentucky; Broncos A Mere Speed Bump For Patriots
Here's what Kentucky head coach John Calipari had to say about the UVM men's basketball team: "I didn’t realize how good Vermont was until I watched the tape. Then I was like, ‘who scheduled this game? This is ridiculous.’ They just do an unbelievable job.”
And UVM proved that Calipari was not being polite in his assessment, pushing the Wildcats to the limit in a 73-69 defeat at Rupp Arena yesterday. It was the first game of the season for John Becker's charges, coming off an historic season in which they became the first team in the America East to go undefeated in conference play. Kentucky is a perennial hoops powerhouse, and had to hold off a late UVM rally to secure the win. P.J. Washington had 17 points to go with 10 rebounds to lead Kentucky, while UVM had four players in double figures. Trae Bell-Haynes had a team-high 16 points. Anthony Lamb was right behind with 15, Drew Urquhart added 13 and Ernie Duncan 10. The Catamounts really came alive in the second half when they shot 59% from the floor, and pulled withi three points with just over a minute and a half left in regulation, but couldn't get the equalizing bucket. Still, it was a send-a-message kind of game to anyone watching back in America East that UVM is still very much the team to beat this year.
The Middlebury field hockey team has reached the Final Four in the NCAA regional tournament, topping Rochester 5-0 yesterday. Julia Richards gave the Panthers the only goal they would need, with Marissa Baker, Audrey Quirk and Annie Leonard also tallying to back Emma Johns to her 16th shutout of the year. Next up for the second ranked Panthers is number ten Franklin and Marshall on Friday in the semi-finals.
The news was not as good for the Middlebury women's soccer team, which was ousted from tournament play in a 1-0 loss to MIT, and in women's college basketball UVM falls to 0-2 on the young season after a 73-49 loss to Miami. The Catamounts have their home opener against Norwich on Wednesday.
In division two play, Samantha Delaney led St. Michael's with a 21-point, 14-rebound double-double and the Purple Knights improve to 2-0 on the year with a 77-59 win over the District of Columbia. Montpelier native Maddy Bennett added ten points for St. Mike's in the win, but the men's team couldn't get past St. Thomas Aquinas in an 86-66 loss in New York.
For the first time in school history Castleton will be sending a runner to the NCAA division three men's cross country championship. Senior Grandon Smith will get a chance to race for the national title Saturday in Illinois, one of 56 qualifiers in the country, and one of just seven from New England who will compete in the eight kilometer men's event.
To the NFL, and there's only one team in the league that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has a career losing record against, but with the Pats next win over the Denver Broncos, there won't be any.
The Pats went into Mile High stadium last night and dismantled the Broncos in a 41-16 rout that was over pretty much by half-time, but there were plenty of highlights for New England fans, none more thrilling than the 103-yard kick-off return for a touchdown by Dion Lewis, who skittered like a waterbug past lazy frogs in a pond, going end to end virtually untouched to put the Pats up 14-3 in the first half.
Brady spread the wealth around, throwing three touchdown passes on the night, one to Rex Burkhead, another to Dwayne Allen for his first career TD, and another to James White. Burkhead also got into the fun on defense, blocking a Denver punt, and with the win away from Foxboro, Brady rubbed a little extra salt in Denver's wounds by tying former Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning for most all-time wins on the road, with 86, a record Brady will likely have all to himself before the season is over. Denver, meanwhile, has lost five in a row and the Patriots have won five straight while improving to 7-2 and in first place in the AFC east.
The San Francisco 49ers needed a win. The NY Giants are probably better off if they don't get another. The Giants went into Santa Clara yesterday with just one win on the year, while the 49ers were winless, and no team wants to be saddled with an oh-fer over a sixteen game season. Quarterback C.J. Beathard threw for 288 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a third to lead the 49ers to their first win of the season in a 31-21 victory over the New York Giants, who are looking to draft picks for next year and will have a better shot at a higher one if they don't win another game all year.
The NY Jets said hello to old friend Ryan Fitzpatrick, filling in for Tampa Bay's injured number one quarterback Jameis Winston, who led the Buccaneers to a 15-10 win over the Jets, who drop to 4-6 on the year. The well-traveled Fitzpatrick becomes just the fourth quarterback in league history to throw touchdown passes for seven different teams.
In the NBA, the Boston Celtics are finding ways to keep an amazing winning streak alive, now at 12 games and counting after a squeaker 95-94 win over the Toronto Raptors last night. Al Horford sat out the last two games for concussion protocol but was back last night to pour in 21 points. Jaylen Brown added 18 and the Celtics won this one without their best player, Kyrie Irving, who, like Horford, had to sit out with concussion symptoms after taking an inadvertent elbow to his head by his own teammate, Aron Baynes.