The Vermont Catamounts cut a 17-point deficit to three late in the second half, but the Saint Joseph's Hawks were able to hold off UVM to post a 74-64 victory in the season opener for both teams at Patrick Gymnasium on Saturday.
Langston Galloway and Ronald Roberts led SJU with 21 points each. Roberts also added a team-high nine rebounds and Deandre Bembry chipped in 11 points.
Senior Clancy Rugg led three Catamounts in double figures with a team-high 17 points. Candon Rusin added 15 points and Sandro Carissimo netted 10. Brian Voelkel inched closer to the 1,000-career rebound mark with a game-high 10 boards and added six points.
Vermont fell behind early as Saint Joseph's built an 11-point lead at the 12:37 mark of the first half. The Catamounts climbed back within five with just over eight minutes remaining in the stanza, but the Hawks out scored UVM 22-10 over the last 8:05 and took a 43-26 advantage into halftime.
The Hawks first half advantage was aided by a 65.4 percent shooting effort from the floor, while UVM went 8-for-24 from the field in the first 20 minutes.
Saint Joseph's maintained the double-digit lead in the opening minutes of the second half, but a basket by Carissimo at the 17:09 mark sparked a 17-3 run for the Catamounts. UVM would close within three, 51-48, with 10:49 left in the contest. Daryus Quarles converted a 3-point play at the 8:40 mark to take some of the momentum back from the Catamounts.
Vermont climbed back within three after a pair of free throws by Voelkel at the 8:08 mark, but Saint Joseph's answered with a 10-2 spurt to pull back out to an 11-point lead with just over four minutes left.
The Catamounts scored six straight points to get back to within five, but Roberts converted a pair of 3-point plays and the Hawks went 4-for-6 from the foul line to hold off Vermont and pick up the victory.
Vermont returns to the court on Tuesday (Nov. 12) when it hosts Siena at 7 p.m. at Patrick Gymnasium.
Courtesy: Vermont Athletics
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