DAYTON, OHIO (AP) - Maybe Vermont is on the verge of some memorable NCAA tournament moments to add to the one it most cherishes.
Four McGlynn came off the bench to score 18 points and Vermont grabbed an early lead and hung on to beat Lamar 71-59 on Wednesday night in a first-round game.
Matt Glass added 11 points, Sandro Carissimo 10 and Brian Voelkel had 12 rebounds to help the Catamounts earn a spot against top-seeded North Carolina on Friday in Greensboro, N.C.
The Catamounts (24-11) shot 50 percent from the field, blending an inside presence with McGlynn’s touch from the perimeter.
It was only Vermont’s second NCAA win, but the first one was something. A 60-57 upset of fourth-seeded Syracuse by the 13th-seeded Catamounts in the first round of the 2005 tournament is considered the biggest victory in school history.
McGlynn, the only player in all of Division I to lead his team in scoring (12.0) without starting a game and yet playing in every game, provided punch to Vermont’s offense.
He entered in the first half and immediately ignited a rally that gave the Catamounts the lead.
Still, down by as many as 16 points early in the second half, Lamar kept hanging around. It drew to seven points when Anthony Miles, who added 14 points, drove and hit a layup while falling and completed a three-point play, then hit a 3 the next possession.
But Vermont always seemed to have an answer.
Brandon Davis followed by driving the lane and banking in a shot. After a Cardinals miss, Glass popped in a jumper and the lead was back to double figures.
Moments later, after a nifty scoop shot in traffic for a bucket by Lamar’s James, McGlynn came in and promptly drilled a 3 from the right wing to make it 59-47 with just over 6 minutes left.
The Cardinals never got closer than nine points again.
The Catamounts took the lead early _ which hasn’t been a good sign for teams so far in the First Four. Both Mississippi Valley State and Iona built first-half leads and then blew them later in first-night losses to Western Kentucky and BYU, respectively.
Vermont was down 12-9 early before McGlynn starting impacting the play. He hit a 3 on his first shot, then hit another perimeter jumper to get his team in gear offensively.
The Catamounts took control with a 13-0 run, holding the Cardinals scoreless for 6 1/2 minutes. Over that span, Lamar misfired on nine straight shots from the field and had their first three turnovers.
Bergmann, who was a perfect 3 for 3 from the field in the opening half, started the spurt with a layup off a long outlet pass that led Knight to call a timeout and berate his team for allowing the easy basket behind the defense.
Brandon Bald then hit a short fade for Vermont’s first lead of the game before McGlynn hit another 3 and burly Ben Crenca muscled his way inside for bucket. McGlynn followed with a teardrop in the lane off glass to push the lead to 22-12.
Vermont led 30-21 at the half.
The Catamounts hit 46 percent of their shots while holding Lamar to just 9 of 31 (29 percent). Most of the Cardinals’ offense was predicated on its guards, with very few shots in the paint.
Vermont was coming off a 51-43 win over top-seeded Stony Brook in the America East tournament on Saturday. Known as one of America’s top teams on the road, they tied for sixth nationally with 11 road wins this year and have totaled 33 victories away from Patrick Gym over the last three years.
John Becker is in his first year as the Catamounts’ head coach. He was elevated to take over when Mike Lonergan left to take the George Washington job.
Lamar, coming off a 70-49 victory over McNeese State in the Southland Conference tournament title game on Saturday, had won six in a row since Knight lit up his seniors after a Feb. 22 home loss to Stephen F. Austin. Knight is in his first season at Lamar after 3-plus seasons as the head coach at Texas Tech where he replaced his Hall of Fame father, Bob Knight. After that home defeat, Knight blasted the “worst seniors” he’d ever been around, saying they were “stealing money being on scholarship” and that his players had problems “off the court, on the court, classroom, drugs.”
The Cardinals were making their sixth NCAA appearance and first since 2000.
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