Wednesday, January 2nd
DURHAM, N.H. - Candon Rusin scored a team-high 15 points in his America East debut and the Vermont Catamounts used a strong second half effort to post a 64-51 victory at New Hampshire in the America East opener for both teams at Lundholm Gymnasium.
Vermont improves to 1-0 in America East and 8-5 overall. New Hampshire begins league play at 0-1 and falls to 4-9 on the year.
"This was a big road win to start league play. This is a gym we have struggled with in the past," said Vermont head coach John Becker. "We were balanced offensively and everyone contributed. It was especially great to have Ben (Crenca) back and playing well," continued Becker.
Vermont held a six-point lead after a layup by Ethan O'Day at the 15:49 mark, but a three-pointer by Ferg Myrick ignited an 8-2 spurt by the Wildcats that allowed UNH to tie up the game at 15-15. The team's traded baskets over the next four possessions, but Vermont was able to out score UNH 12-5 to close the half and take a nine-point lead into the break, 33-24.
The Catamounts continued to carry the momentum into the start of the second half, using another 8-2 spurt, capped by a 3-pointer from Brian Voelkel, to extend their lead to 13, 41-28, at the 16:21 mark.
The Wildcats would close within eight, but Vermont answered with a 12-0 run to open up a 20-point advantage with 10:14 remaining in the contest. New Hampshire tried to chip away at the lead, but could only manage to get as close as 12 the rest of the way.
O'Day also reached double figures for the Catamounts in his America East debut, netting 11 points and grabbing four rebounds. Voelkel, the 2012 America East Tournament Most Outstanding Player, produced a solid stat line with five points, 13 rebounds and six assists.
Myrick finished the night with a game-high 19 points and added five rebounds for the Wildcats. Chandler Rhoads added 14 points and three assists.
Vermont returns to action on Saturday (Jan. 5) when it hosts Albany in the first conference home game for the Catamounts. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Patrick Gymnasium.
--- UVM Sports Information
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