HANOVER, N.H. — Dartmouth whittled a 17-point deficit in the second half down to five, but visiting Vermont was able to stave off a comeback thanks to a season-high 27 points from Trae Bell-Haynes as the Catamounts (12-5) won their 10th straight in the series, 91-78, in front of 1,263 fans on Wednesday evening at Leede Arena. Bell-Haynes did not miss a shot all night, going 10-for-10 from the floor with a 3-pointer, and 6-for-6 at the foul line.
Senior Taylor Johnson led four players in double figures with 17 points for the Big Green (4-9), which lost their third straight contest despite season highs in both field goal percentage (.583) and 3-point percentage (.550). But 16 turnovers led to 21 Vermont points, while the Catamounts coughed the ball up just five times for five Big Green points.
Early in the second half, Dartmouth tried to whittle away at its 13-point halftime deficit, but Bell-Haynes provided 13 straight points for the Catamounts, the last six of which extended their lead to 17 at 60-43 with just over 14 minutes to play. But the Big Green finally was able make some headway on that hole with seven straight points, punctuated by a two-hand slam by freshman Adrease Jackson, leading to a Vermont timeout.
Stef Smith provided a brief respite from the rally with a jumper from the left elbow, but sophomore Brendan Barry, who tallied 13 points for the Green, nailed his third long ball in as many tried on the night to cut the Catamount lead into single digits, and Johnson followed with a short jumper just outside the circle in the paint to close the gap to seven.
Johnson continued to erode the deficit, hitting a layup with 7:12 to play to make it a six-point contest, then draining his third 3-pointer to bring Dartmouth within five at 70-65 with 5:29 remaining. But that would be as close as the Big Green would come with Ernie Duncan drilling a trey and Cam Ward sinking a 14-footer to double the Vermont lead back to 10. After another Bell-Haynes bucket, the Catamounts maintained a double-digit advantage the rest of the way.
Vermont led the entire game, but Dartmouth kept within striking distance during the first nine minutes, with senior Miles Wright dropping three free throws, keeping the Big Green within four at 17-13.
But the Catamounts ripped off the next 13 points, capped by a trifecta by Payton Henson, who finished the night with 20 points. Two-and-a-half minutes later, Henson added two free throws to boost the bulge to a game-high 19 points, 37-18. Dartmouth managed to get its turnovers under control for the rest of the half, which allowed it to close within 13 at 43-30 as freshman Chris Knight (14 points) took a quick feed from Barry — one of his five helpers — for a layup to end the stanza.
While the Big Green were ripping the nets, Vermont was even more efficient hitting 59.3 percent (35-of-59) overall. Henson finished the game 7-of-16 from the floor with two 3-pointers, plus was a perfect 4-for-4 at the charity stripe for his 20 points, while Ward hit five of his six shots with a trey and three free throws to chip in 14 more.
Johnson was 7-of-10 on field goals and 3-of-5 from distance for his 17 points, and Knight just missed two shots all night with five field goals and four free throws. While Barry posted his 13 points on the strength of a trio of 3-pointers, sophomore Will Emery added 10 down low on 4-for-4 shooting with a pair of foul shots, and Jackson led all players with five rebounds, though the Catamounts had a slim 25-22 advantage on the glass.
Dartmouth finishes up its non-conference slate on Saturday when it travels to Boston College (11-6) for a game streamed on ACC Network Extra at 1 p.m. Vermont returns home to play host to Stony Brook in an America East matchup on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Notes: Cameron Smith came off the bench in the second half to provide a spark with seven points and an assist in nine minutes. It was his highest scoring effort since Feb. 26, 2016 against Brown (10 points) … Dartmouth has shot 50 percent or better six times this year, its most since the 2013-14 season (7) … the Big Green have hit double digits in 3-pointers four times this year.