DURHAM, N.H. – Freshman forward John Edwards (Charlotte, N.C.) scored a team-high nine points, but the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team dropped a 79-44 decision to the University of Vermont on Wednesday night at Lundholm Gymnasium.
Clancy Rugg paced the Catamounts with a game-high 18 points on 4 of 5 shooting and 10 of 10 from the free throw line. Candon Rusin added 11 and Luke Apfeld notched 10 for Vermont, which moves to 18-9 overall and 12-1 in the America East.
Edwards scored seven of his nine points in the second half to lead the Wildcats. Senior captain Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) and freshman guard Daniel Dion (Cedar Park, Texas) added eight points apiece for UNH, which falls to 6-20 overall and 4-9 in America East Conference play.
Vermont got things started with a quick 4-0 run to open the game. Brian Voelkel and Rugg each went 2-for-2 from the line to put the Catamounts ahead early. UNH responded with a 5-0 run to take its first lead of the game, 5-4. Senior Chris Pelcher (Albany, N.Y.) got the Wildcats on the board when he converted a layup and Dion followed with a 3-pointer from the left shoulder to put the Wildcats ahead.
The Catamounts answered back strong with a 17-0 run to take a 21-5 lead with 9:56 left in the first half.
The Wildcats kept fighting, using a 9-3 run to cut the lead to 24-14. Konan opened the run for the Wildcats when he drilled a pair of freebies. After a Vermont 3-ball put the Catamounts back up 24-7, Edwards scored his first two points of the game on a couple of free throws. Freshman Jacoby Armstrong (Sachse, Texas) added a layup before senior Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) capped the run with a 3-pointer.
Vermont regained control over the final 5:52 of the half, closing out the period on a 16-2 run to take a 42-16 advantage into the break. Rugg led all scorers with 14 points at halftime. Apfeld chipped in with eight points and Sandro Carissimo added six for the Catamounts, who shot 58.3% (14-for-24) from the field in the opening frame.
Pelcher paced the Wildcats in the first with four points on 2 of 4 shooting. Bronner and Dion added three points each for UNH, which shot 18.5% (5-for-27) during the first half.
Vermont started the second half much like the first, using a 16-8 run to extend its lead to 34 (58-24). The Catamounts coasted from there to the end, ultimately taking a 79-44 victory.
Vermont shot 47.1% (24-for-51) from the floor during the game. The Catamounts also shot 33.3% (4-for-12) from beyond the arc and 87.1% (27-for-31) from the charity stripe.
The Wildcats were held to just 22.8% shooting in the contest (13-for-57). UNH managed only 16.0% (4-for-25) from downtown and 66.7% (14-for-21) from the line.
UNH returns to action on Saturday Feb. 22 when they host the UMass Lowell River Hawks at 3:30 p.m.on Senior and Alumni Day. The game will be broadcast live on Fox College Sports Atlantic. For tickets, visit UNHWildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000.