Candon Rusin scored a game-high 18 points and the Vermont Catamounts used a strong defensive effort to post a 65-52 victory over visiting Yale in UVM's 2012-13 home opener before 2,403 at Patrick Gymnasium.
Vermont, which has won 19 of its last 25 home openers, moves to 3-1 on the year. Yale drops to 1-5 on the season.
Rusin, who sat out last season after transferring from Marist, netted a season-best 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting in his regular season debut at Patrick Gymnasium. Teammate Brian Voelkel chipped in game-highs of 12 rebounds and five assists and all 10 Catamounts that played scored.
Michael Grace came off the bench to lead the Bulldogs with 12 points. The Catamounts held Yale's leading scorer Austin Morgan (13.2 ppg) to just two points on a pair of free throws.
"This was a good win tonight against a good Yale team. It was great to play in front of our home fans," said Vermont head coach John Becker. "I thought we were slow offensively early, but defensively we were fantastic in the first half. At the end of the game our defense broke down a little bit, but the offense was good."
"Josh Elbaum I thought was the difference. Defensively he really disrupted Yale and was able to get us out in transition and get Candon some easy opportunities. I thought Josh and Candon did a nice job of letting the defense create some easy offensive opportunities for us tonight."
Both teams struggled offensively in the first half. A 3-pointer by Yale's Jesse Pritchard tied the game up at 19-19 with 2:08 remaining in the first stanza. Vermont answered with a 7-0 run to close the half and took a 26-19 lead, the biggest by either team, into halftime.
The Catamounts carried the momentum into the second half, extending their run to 18-4 and pulled out to a 37-23 lead with 13:55 remaining in the game. The lead would grow to 17 with six minutes left after a pair of free throws from Elbaum and UVM would maintain a comfortable margin the rest of the way to post its 10th straight win at Patrick Gymnasium, dating back to last season.
Vermont held Yale to 32.7 percent shooting for the game and five 3-pointers. The Catamounts shot 43.5 percent from the floor and were aided by a 25-for-32 effort from the foul line.
The Catamounts return to action on Tuesday (Nov. 27) when they travel to Cambridge, Mass. to face Harvard. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
--UVM Press Release--
PO Box 4508