UMBC beats Vermont 73-64, has ticket to American East final

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VESTAL, N.Y. (AP)—Cavell Johnson scored six points during a late foul-fueled 12-0 rally Sunday to help top-seeded Maryland-Baltimore County beat fourth-seeded Vermont, 73-64, in the semifinal round of the America East tournament.

The Retrievers (23-8) advance to their first final in five years in the league and, as the higher seed, will host the title game, facing No. 2 Hartford, the winner going to the NCAA Tournament. As the league?s regular season champ, UMBC already has an automatic NIT bid.

The teams split a pair of regular season games, each winning by one point on its home floor. Hartford is also making its first trip to the final, having lost in nine previous semifinals.

Vermont (16-15) led 60-55 with 4:36 left when Johnson started the run with the only basket of the spurt. The Retrievers then went 10-for-12 from the foul line to take a seven-point lead with 1:14 remaining and kept that lead with more free throws.

UMBC went 26-for-31 from the line in the second half, with Ray Barbosa going 15-for-15.

Barbosa, named second team all-conference Friday, scored 21 of his 29 points in the second half to lead all scorers. All-conference player Darryl Proctor had 17 points and Johnson 12 points and eight rebounds.

Mike Trimboli led Vermont with 21 points and five rebounds. America East player of the year Marqus Blakely was held to nine points—including his only 3-pointer of the season and the second of his two-year career—but had 14 rebounds and four blocks shots. Colin McIntosh scored 11 points and Evan Fjeld contributed 10.

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