BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Marqus Blakely recorded a double-double of 24 points and 18 rebounds to lead University of Vermont to an 83-70 win over Boston University and its fourth America East Men's Basketball Championship on Saturday at Patrick Gym. Blakely, who averaged 16.7 points and 11.7 boards for the tournament was named the Reggie Lewis Most Outstanding Player. With the win, Vermont earned the league's automatic NCAA tournament berth and will learn its draw on Sunday at 6 p.m. on CBS.
The second-seeded Catamounts (25-8), who tied their program record for wins in a season, shot 57.8 percent for the game and hit 16-of-25 attempts in the first half. UVM never trailed in the game and used a 7-0 run to stretch its advantage to 24-14 with 8:45 left in the first period. The Catamounts entered halftime with a 42-31 lead after Blakely, who was 7-of-10 from the floor and also had five assists, hit a runner in the lane as time expired.
The fourth-seeded Terriers (19-13), just the third No. 4 seed to reach an America East final, used a 15-4 second half run to cut the deficit to one. Corey Lowe, who scored 24 points and averaged 24.7 ppg for the tournament en route to earning all-championship honors, capped the spurt on a 3-pointer with 10:20 left to make the score 54-53.
But Vermont, which has now won four titles in eight years, used another 7-0 run to grow the lead back to eight with 5:48 to play. Evan Fjeld, who had nine points, six rebounds and was an all-championship team selection, hit a layup to start the run and Maurice Joseph sent the soldout crowd of 3,266 into a frenzy with a three-pointer to give his team a 59-53 lead with 7:59 to go.
Vermont, which made 12-of-15 free throws down the stretch to seal the outcome, held a 32-18 advantage on points in the paint and a 36-26 rebounding edge. Nick Vier scored 15 points and shot a perfect 4-of-4 from three-point territory. Garvey Young scored eight points and held the conference's leading scorer, John Holland, to just nine points in earning all-championship recognition.
Jake O'Brien added 17 points and was an all-championship selection for the Terriers, who shot just 38 percent for the contest.