Brian Voelkel scored a team-high 12 points and Luke Apfeld made three free throws in the final 38 seconds to help the Vermont Catamounts earn a 49-43 victory at Hartford in America East men's basketball action on Wednesday. UVM improves to 14-7 overall and 7-2 in America East, while Hartford falls to 11-10 and 4-4 in league play.
Apfeld, who returned to the UVM lineup after missing five games with a lower leg injury, finished the game with eight points and six rebounds. Voelkel added five rebounds and four assists and Clancy Rugg chipped in nine points and seven rebounds.
Mark Nwakamma led Hartford with 12 points and eight rebounds and Yolonzo Moore II added seven points.
In a sloppy first half where both teams combined for 23 turnovers, the Hawks held a 15-11 lead after a 3-pointer from U'u Parker at the 8:55 mark. Vermont answered with a 9-0 run to push out in front by five, 20-15, with 3:46 remaining in the half.
The Hawks rattled off six straight points to take a 21-20 lead, but Voelkel hit a jumper with 35 seconds left in the stanza to give Vermont a 22-21 lead at the break.
Hartford opened the second half with a 15-6 run and led 36-28 with 14:04 remaining in the contest. Vermont's Clancy Rugg scored seven straight points to ignite a decisive 11-0 run to give UVM a 39-36 advantage with just over seven minutes remaining.
The Hawks closed to within one on a pair of free throws from Nwakamma at the 5:19 mark, but Vermont was able to push its lead to five on a layup by Sandro Carissimo at the 2:28 mark and UVM held off the Hawks with Apfeld's free throws and a basket by Voelkel to end the game.
The Catamounts finished the game shooting 47.4 percent from the floor and went 3-for-7 from 3-point range. Hartford shot 34 percent from the field and attempted 29 3-pointers (5-for-29).
Vermont returns to action on February 6 when the Catamounts begin the second round of conference play hosting New Hampshire at 7 p.m. at Patrick Gymnasium.
Courtesy: Vermont Athletics
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