Northeastern 57

(21-9, 15-3 Am. East)

Vermont 80

(24-6, 16-2 Am. East)

11:30 AM ET, March 12, 2005

Patrick Gymnasium, Burlington, Vermont

1 2 T
NE 34 2357
UVM 48 3280

Top Performers

Northeastern: S. James 8 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 4 Blk

Vermont: T. Coppenrath 37 Pts, 9 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Stl, 2 Blk

Coppenrath scores 37 in win

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) -- What an exit for Vermont coach Tom Brennan.

The Catamounts made the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year Saturday, beating Northeastern 80-57 for the America East championship behind 37 points from Taylor Coppenrath.

Brennan announced at the beginning of the season that his 19th year leading Vermont would be his last. He went out in style in his last home game.

"I could have never believed it could have gotten to this. What has happened here is beyond belief," Brennan said. "When we did it the first time I said, 'Man, this is neat.' When we did it the second time I thought, 'Man, this is unbelievable.' The third time, God almighty, how does this keep happening. Man, I don't know," Brennan said.

Vermont (24-6) won the championship by containing Northeastern star Jose Juan Berea, limiting him to 14 points before he left the game early in the second half with a twisted ankle. Adrian Martinez added 11 points for Northeastern (21-9).

Northeastern coach Ron Everhart was unhappy with his team's play.

"I don't think we converted well," Everhart said. "We missed some easy shots. When you do that against a team like Vermont, it can get ugly in a hurry."

For Coppenrath, the three-time America East player of the year and second-leading scorer in the nation, it was the fourth time this season he has scored 37 points.

The surprise for the Catamounts was sophomore Martin Klimes, from the Czech Republic, who scored 15 points in the first half. T.J. Sorrentine added 11.

"When they double Taylor, somebody is going to be open," Klimes said. "Today, I got a lot of easy hoops under the basket. I had a really good time. Putting 'em in wasn't really difficult."

Klimes' 15 helped Vermont take a 48-34 halftime lead. Northeastern scored the first basket of the second half to get within 12. But that was as close as it got.

The Huskies' shot at a comeback was further damaged when Berea got hurt after coming down on a Vermont player's foot. Berea pounded the floor in frustration.

Top-seeded Vermont shot 54.7 percent from the floor and 41.2 percent from the 3-point line, while second-seeded Northeastern shot 36.2 percent from the floor and 36 percent from the 3-point line.

Vermont advanced to the tournament finals with victories last weekend over the University of Maryland-Baltimore County and Binghamton. Northeastern defeated Stony Brook and Maine.

Northeastern has been the America East champion a record seven times, most recently in 1991.

Everhart said his team was worthy of a NIT Tournament bid.

"We're a lot better team than we showed today," he said. "I'm very disappointed we weren't prepared to play better. We had an opportunity, but we didn't get it done."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 57 80
FG Made-Attempted 21-58 (.362) 35-64 (.547)
3P Made-Attempted 9-25 (.360) 7-17 (.412)
FT Made-Attempted 6-12 (.500) 3-4 (.750)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 12 (0/0) 14 (0/0)
Largest Lead 0 26

2004-05 Season

Jan 5, 2005 UVM 75, @NE 60Recap
Feb 5, 2005 @UVM 72, NE 64Recap
» Mar 12, 2005 @UVM 80, NE 57Recap