BALTIMORE — Drew Urquhart scored 18 points, Payton Henson and Trae Bell-Haynes added 16 each as hot-shooting Vermont beat UMBC 81-53 in the debut of the Retrievers’ new Event Center on Saturday.
The game matched the America East’s top two teams but the Catamounts (19-5, 9-0) outscored the Retrievers by 21 points in the second half to win their 12th straight game and 30th consecutive regular-season conference matchup, the longest active such streak in the nation. They also defeated UMBC for the 23rd time in a row.
The Catamounts, who led by seven at halftime, outscored the Retrievers 24-5 over a nearly nine-minute stretch of the second half, including a 14-0 run to lead by 25 with 4:55 to go. Henson scored 14 points in the second half. Vermont finished at 66 percent shooting.
Jairus Lyles scored 27 points and K.J. Maura 13 for UMBC (16-9, 7-3), which had a sellout crowd of 4,753 — the largest in program history — for its debut in the new $85 million facility. UMBC was 11-0 this season in its former home, the RAC Arena.
Vermont has rolled to its perfect conference record without its leading scorer and rebounder, Anthony Lamb, who started the first 13 games of the season before suffering a foot fracture in a late December practice.