Trey Blue scored a game-high 15 points to lead four Catamounts in double figures as Vermont rolled to a 70-45 victory over Albany in front of 2,311 fans at Patrick Gymnasium in America East men's basketball action on Saturday.
Vermont improves to 9-5 overall and 2-0 in America East. Albany falls to 12-4 on the year and 1-1 in league play.
"There was a great environment today, our fans gave us a lot of energy and our guys fed off of it. Our energy was tremendous on the defensive end. Every guy that came in gave us quality minutes and they were ready to go. The way we have been practicing game me comfort and confidence that we were going to come out ready to play and execute. It was a great team effort tonight," said Vermont head coach John Becker.
The Catamounts led wire-to-wire in the game, jumping out to a 9-2 start. The Great Danes came back to within four on a basket by Luke Devlin at the 14:42 mark, but UVM quickly responded with a 13-4 spurt to push its lead back to 13 with 7:18 remaining in the half. Luke Apfeld capped the run with a 3-pointer and he led UVM with 10 first half points.
Mike Black converted a layup at the 5:50 mark to cut the lead down to single digits but the Catamounts responded again, rattling off 11 straight points to close the half and take a 35-19 lead into halftime.
Vermont finished the first half shooting a sizzling 62.5 percent from the floor and limited the Great Danes to 38.1 percent shooting. UVM forced Albany into 10 first half miscues which resulted in 10 points for the Catamounts.
Vermont's momentum carried over to the second half as the Catamounts' lead grew to 21 in the opening minutes. Candon Rusin provided the fuel for UVM, scoring 10 straight points in the first three minutes of the half.
The Catamounts maintained a 20-point advantage the rest of the way to earn their seventh straight win over Albany in the all-time series and improve to 10-3 against the Great Danes at Patrick Gymnasium.
Apfeld and Rusin finished the game with 12 points each and Sandro Carissimo also chipped in a dozen points for the Catamounts. UVM finished the game shooting 52.8 percent from the field and out scored Albany 32-14 in the paint.
Black led Albany with a team-high 14 points. Teammate Jacob Iati, who entered the game averaging 16 points per game, was held to two on 1-for-8 shooting. As a team, Albany shot 35.7 percent for the game and was held to a season low 45 points.
Vermont returns to action on Tuesday (Jan. 8) when it travels to Boston, Mass. to take on the Boston U Terriers. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Case Gymnasium.
----University of Vermont Athletic Department Press Release----
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