Xavier Munford scored a game-high 25 points on 7-for-11 shooting and added five rebounds to lead the Rhode Island Rams to a 76-66 victory over visiting Vermont in non-conference men's basketball action at the Ryan Center. The Catamounts fall to 4-2 on the season.
Clancy Rugg came off the bench to score a team-high 16 points, matching his season high, and grabbed seven rebounds for Vermont. Sandro Carissimo netted 15 points and Luke Apfeld collected nine rebounds. The Catamounts finished the contest shooting 40 percent from the field and went 21-for-29 from the charity stripe.
A pair of free throws by Ethan O'Day at the 6:09 mark of the first half gave Vermont a 20-18 lead. Munford answered with a 3-pointer at the 5:53 mark and ignited an 18-5 run for the Rams that would use to close out the half. Rhode Island took a 39-25 lead into the break.
URI scored the first four points of the second half to push its lead to 16, 43-25. At the 8:50 mark the Catamounts mounted a rally, out scoring Rhode Island 21-8 over the next eight minutes, capped by a layup by Sandro Carissimo, to climb back within seven, 68-61, with 57 seconds left. The Rams made 6-of-8 free throws in the closing seconds to close out the victory.
Vermont will play its second home game of the season on Wednesday (Dec. 5) when it hosts Towson at 7 p.m.
Meanwhile, Nicki Jones, the 2012 TD Bank Classic MVP, led all scorers with 20 points and added nine rebounds to lead the Drexel Dragons to a 66-49 victory over Vermont on the second day of the TD Bank Classic. The Dragons captured the tournament championship with a 2-0 mark after defeating Rhode Island on Friday. The Catamounts fell to 3-6 on the season.
Niki Taylor led the Catamounts with 14 points, all in the second half, and Sam Simononis chipped in 11 points. Annie Wheeler followed up a career-high performance on Friday versus Houston Baptist with a solid effort of seven points and four rebounds. Wheeler represented the Catamounts on the all-tournament team.
"I was disappointed in the start, I though we were flat. We didn't hit our shots early and that took the intensity out of our defense. Once we figured that out in the second half I was really proud of effort and the way we played," said Vermont head coach Lori Gear McBride.
Vermont will close out the non-conference schedule with four straight road games, starting Wednesday (Dec. 5) at Central Connecticut. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m
In the earlier game of the TD Bank Classic, Cathy Inglese's Rhode Island women got their only win of the weekend beating Houston Baptist, 59-36. Inglese is making her first return to Patrick gym since she coached the Catamounts to 57 straight regular season wins 20 years ago. Those teams were honored Saturday night at a banquet on campus.
---UVM Athletic Department Press Release---
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