The Catamounts downed Dartmouth 88-71 in their last time out on Tuesday, but have a tough test ahead of them with the 8-0 Panthers. This will be the third meeting all-time between the two teams as Pittsburgh has won the previous two. Vermont enters the game having won two of its last four games against ranked opponents.
The game can be heard live on WEAV-AM 960 and DOT-FM 96.7, and on the internet at www.uvmathletics.com with the audio stream provided by sportsjuice.com. The University of Pittsburgh will provide a live internet broadcast for Saturday's game. The game will simulate a live television production and will be made available for free on Pitt's athletic website, www.pittsburghpanthers.com. The internet broadcast will include live game action, post-game interviews, statistic graphics, score updates, live play-by-play and color commentary.
LAST TIME OUT: Marqus Blakely, Mike Trimboli and Garvey Young combined for 69 points on 26-for-35 shooting from the floor to lead Vermont to an 88-71 victory over Dartmouth on Tuesday night at Patrick Gym. The Catamounts shot 59.3 percent from the floor for the game as they earned their third straight win. A three by Dartmouth's Alex Barnett would cut the visitors deficit to three at 55-52 with 12:05 remaining, but Vermont answered with a 15-2 run over the next 3:51 to put the game out of reach and take a 70-54 lead. Young went for a career-high 19 off the bench, while both Blakely (27) and Trimboli (23) added season-highs.
#3 PITTSBURGH: The Panthers enter Saturday's contest ranked third in the nation and sport a perfect 8-0 record. Six of their first eight games have taken place at home, while their two road wins came as part of the Legends Classic in Newark, N.J. over Texas Tech and Washington State in a neutral setting. Pittsburgh has a +20.6 scoring margin and a +9.7 rebounding margin. Sam Young leads the team in scoring (19.9 ppg), while DeJuan Blair averages a double-double (15.1 ppg, 13.0 rpg). The Panthers returned their top three scorers from last season for a team that went 27-10 and captured the 2008 Big East Championship. Pittsburgh is 2-0 all-time against Vermont.
LAST MEETING WITH PITTSBURGH (12/17/05): Carl Krauser scored 15 of his game-high 21 points in the first half as Pittsburgh topped Vermont, 63-52, in men's college basketball at the Peterson Events Center. Krauser, a senior Wooden Award candidate, scored 10 points to fuel an 18-4 run to close out the first half for the Panthers who in eight minutes turned a 15-14 deficit into a 32-19 lead at the break. Kyle Cieplicki went four-of-seven from beyond the arc to finish with a season-high 12 points along with three assists. Martin Klimes also tallied 12 points and added six rebounds.
BIG EAST: Vermont is 10-63 all-time against teams currently in the Big East. The Cats last played a Big East squad in the 2005-06 season when they fell to both Providence (87-77) and Pittsburgh (63-52), with their last win coming over Syracuse (60-57) in overtime in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on March 18, 2005.
RANKED OPPONENTS: Traveling to face the the number three team in the nation on Saturday, the Catamounts have knocked off two of their last four ranked opponents they have faced. Vermont downed #14 Boston College 77-63 on November 13, 2006 and earned its first-ever win over a ranked team when the Cats defeated Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament in 2005.
ROOKIE CONTRIBUTION: Garvey Young had the best game of his short Catamount career on Tuesday night against Dartmouth. The freshman came off the bench to tally a career-high 19 points and grabbed four boards, as he hit six of his eight attempts from the floor and was 3-for-4 from three. Young surpassed his previous high of eight, which he scored in the previous game against Loyola. He is now fifth on the team in scoring, averaging 7.0 points per game. The 19 points were the most for a Catamount freshman since Marqus Blakely went for 24 at Maine on February 14, 2007.
SEASON HIGHS: Both Marqus Blakely and Mike Trimboli put up season-high point totals in the Cats win over Dartmouth. Blakely was nearly perfect from the floor, going 11-for-13 for 27 points and also adding three assists. Trimboli recorded new season-highs with 23 points and nine rebounds, while also adding four assists and three steals. The senior was one shy of his all-time high for boards, as he pulled down 10 against Binghamton on January 25, 2006.
LONG RANGE: Vermont has had success from behind the arc in its last two games, connecting on 10-of-17 (58.8%). The Cats went 4-for-5 from three against Loyola and then 6-for-12 in the win over Dartmouth. For the year the team is shooting 42.5 percent from long range, which is first in America East. Marqus Blakely hit his third career three in the Dartmouth game, as Vermont is now 2-1 when he connects. The Catamounts' other win when Blakely hit a three came on January 9, 2006 when he hit one at the buzzer to top New Hampshire 62-60.
20 OR MORE: Mike Trimboli surpassed the 20-point mark for the first time this season with 23 against Dartmouth on Tuesday. For his career Vermont is now 23-5 when he goes over 20, which included a perfect 11-0 mark during his sophomore season.
IVY SUCCESS: Vermont has now won its last three straight over Ivy League teams, including a pair this season. The Cats recorded their two highest point totals of the year against Yale (89) and Dartmouth (88). Vermont won the two games this season by an average of 24 points and shot a combined 56.3 percent.
DOUBLE-TROUBLE: Marqus Blakely earned his third double-double of the year against Dartmouth, scoring 27 and pulling down 11 rebounds. Last season he recorded 10 straight double-doubles during a stretch, which was the most in the modern era for the Cats, and he now has 18 for his career. Blakely was one of only 19 players in the nation to average a double-double last season. The Cats are 11-7 now when he posts a double-double. Trevor Gaines '02 holds the school single-season record with 17 double-doubles.
SETTING THE TABLE: Junior Nick Vier has handed out at least four assists in each of the team's last five games and is coming off a season-high six against Dartmouth. He is averaging 4.6 during the stretch. Vier is second on the team this season in assists (25) and is also third in the America East in assist/turnover ratio (1.7-to-1).
HIGH SCORING: Vermont scored 88 points in its win over Dartmouth and has scored at least 74 in a game on five occasions this year. The Cats are averaging 78.7 points per contest and shooting 50.0 percent from the floor to lead the America East in both categories. Vermont ranks 22nd in the nation in shooting percentage this season, as Utah State tops the ranks (56.6%).
FILLING THE BUCKET: The Catamounts shot a season-best 59.3 percent from the floor in its win over Dartmouth on Tuesday. Vermont went 17-for-26 (65.4%) from the floor in the opening 20 minutes of play, while Marqus Blakely, Mike Trimboli and Garvey Young combined for 69 points for the game by going 26-for-35.
GOING FOR 80 OR MORE: Vermont has won 47 of its last 48 games dating back to the 2000-01 season when scoring 80 or more in a contest. UVM's only loss during that stretch came at Maine in overtime during the 2005-06 season when the Black Bears won 85-82.
GETTING IT DONE: Marqus Blakely, the reigning America East Defensive Player of the Year, has picked up right where he left off last season. Blakely leads the conference in both blocks (2.8 bpg) and steals (2.8 spg), while ranking 15th in the nation in steals and 16th in blocks.
SCORING OPTIONS: This season Vermont has three of the top nine individual scores in the America East, more than any other team. Marqus Blakely is the top Catamount as he is fourth with 18.3 ppg and is followed in sixth by Mike Trimboli (16.0 ppg), while Colin McIntosh (14.7 ppg) is eighth. The only other team to have more than one player represented in the top 10 is Boston University, with two.
HOME SWEET HOME: Vermont has won three of its four home games this season and five of its last six dating back to last season. The Cats' only loss in the stretch came in overtime, 80-79 against George Mason. In those five wins, Vermont has won by an average of 18.6 points per game which includes a pair of 31-point triumphs over Maine last season and Yale this year.
AROUND THE RIM: Vermont is 3-0 on Tuesday's this season and 1-2 on every other day ... Senior Colin McIntosh was held under double digits (9) for the first time this season against Dartmouth ... The Catamounts are 4-0 this season when leading at halftime and are 35-7 over the last 42 occasions when doing so. ... Marqus Blakely is the only returning player in the nation to average at least 19 points and 11 rebounds a game last season ... The Cats are 4-0 when Joey Accaoui reaches double figures ... Mike Trimboli is the top active scorer in the America East with 1,592 career points.
WHO'S NEXT: Vermont returns to action on Sunday, December 14 when the Cats return home to face UNC-Wilmington starting at 1 p.m.
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