Luke Apfeld scored a career-high 26 points and Brian Voelkel added 10 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Vermont Catamounts to a 76-62 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson in non-conference men's basketball action at Patrick Gymnasium on Saturday. Vermont improves to 7-4 overall, while FDU falls to 4-6 on the year.
"It was good to finally see our offense come alive," said Vermont head coach John Becker. "Offensively we were good through the whole game and executed our stuff. The week off helped us, gave us some practice time to make some tweaks. Defensively they made some tough, contested shots in the first half and I though our guys came out with better energy and focus in the second half. We were able to get some stops and continue to score the ball to pull away. I am very happy with the win and I also thought we took a step forward today," continued Becker.
The Knights held a 19-15 lead at the 11:18 mark of the first half, but the Catamounts used a 15-4 run, fueled by six points from Apfeld, to push out in front by seven, 30-23, with 4:46 remaining in the stanza.
FDU scored seven straight points to knot the game up at 30-30 with 2:06 left and Melquan Bolding hit a jumper, from the foul line, at the halftime horn to give the Knights a 34-33 lead at the break. Bolding scored 16 of his team-high 20 points in the first stanza.
The two teams traded the lead three times in the opening five minutes of the second half. A 3-pointer by Mustafaa Jones at the 16:29 mark gave Fairleigh Dickinson a 44-39 lead. A dunk by freshman Ethan O'Day off an assist from Apfeld, sparked a 13-2 run by the Catamounts. Apfeld punctuated the spurt with a 3-pointer and UVM pulled out to a six-point lead, 52-46, one which Vermont would not relinquish the rest of the way.
FDU closed within four on a pair of free throws by Bolding at the 10:40 mark, but Vermont out scored the Knights 15-5 over the next five minutes to open up a 13-point lead and maintained the double digit advantage the rest of the way.
Voelkel added eight assists, nearly recording a triple-double, to go along with his third double-double in four games for the Catamounts. Candon Rusin added 10 points and Clancy Rugg chipped in 13 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
Lonnie Robinson added 14 points and Kinu Rochford chipped in 12 points and a team-high seven rebounds to go along with Bolding's team-high 20 points for Fairleigh Dickinson.
Vermont will break for the holidays and return to the court on December 29 when it hosts the College of Charleston at 2 p.m. at Patrick Gymnasium.
--University of Vermont Athletic Department Press Release--
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