A second half rally by the Vermont men's basketball team propelled the Catamounts to an 87-76 victory over Illinois State in the Golden Gate Challenge hosted by the University of San Francisco. UVM improves to 2-5 overall, while Illinois State falls to 1-4.
Sandro Carissimo led all scorers with 24 points, one shy of his career high. He went 6-for-7 from 3-point range and added five rebounds and five assists. Clancy Rugg matched his career-high with 21 points and Brian Voelkel added 12 points (10 in the first half) and nine assists.
Zach Lofton led four Redbirds in double figures with a team-high 19 points.
Illinois State led by as many as 18 in the first half, but the Catamounts were able to cut the lead to 12 with an 8-2 spurt to close the half and trailed 43-31 as the teams headed to the locker room.
UVM started the second half with a 9-4 spurt and trailed by 10, 46-56, at the 13:06 mark of the stanza. A layup by Candon Rusin sparked a decisive 20-9 run by the Catamounts that allowed Vermont to take a 66-65 lead with just over six minutes remaining.
UVM's lead would grow to 10 after back-to-back 3-pointers from Carissimo and the Catamounts would maintain the double-digit advantage the rest of the way.
Vermont shot 65.5 percent from the field in the second half and 53.7 percent for the game.
Vermont faces San Francisco in the second game of the Golden Gate Challenge on Friday (Nov. 29) at 9 p.m.
Courtesy: UVM Athletics
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