Sharp-Shooting Vermont Downs Men's Basketball in America East Contest
BALTIMORE – Visiting Vermont hit eight of its first 13 shots from behind the arc and went on to defeat UMBC, 73-47, in America East action at the RAC Arena.
The Catamounts won for the sixth consecutive time and improved to 10-8 overall and 4-0 in the conference. UMBC has dropped four of five, and slipped to 5-13 overall and 1-4 in league play.
The setback was UMBC's first at home since Nov. 20.
Vermont senior wing Candon Rusin buried his first four treys and scored 16 of his game-high 22 points in the first half. UMBC senior forward Chase Plummer (Plainfield, N.J./St. Patrick) led the Retrievers with 12 points and is one point shy of becoming the 12th player in school history to reach the 1,200-piont plateau.
The visitors bolted from the gate, as Rusin buried the first two treys of the game and Vermont took an 11-0 lead five minutes into the contest.
UMBC would get to within seven points on two occasions, both the result of scores by freshman wing Will Darley (Timonium, Md./Dulaney). His two free throws with 8:37 to play in the half cut the deficit to 19-12, but a subsequent run of 9-0 by Vermont restored a double-digit advantage.
UMBC misfired on 17 of 22 first half field goal attempts, committed 10 turnovers and trailed, 39-20, at intermission.
The Retrievers made a brief second-half run, cutting a 21-point deficit to 14 points on a Plummer layup with 13:14 remaining. But Vermont replied with a 8-2 surge, capped by treys from Luke Apfeld and Hector Harold and UMBC would not threaten the lead in the final 11 minutes.
UMBC freshman guard Rodney Elliott (Baltimore, Md./John Carroll) did manage to score 10 points, as he played only 17 minutes due to foul trouble. The first-year player has totaled double figures in 10 of his last 11 games and 14 of 18 this season.
But UMBC shot only 31.9 percent (15-of-47) from the field and were outrebounded, 41-24. Vermont cooled off after a torrid first half and settled at 44.2 percent (23-of-52) for the game. But the Catamounts connected on 9-of-17 from behind the arc for the game and 11-of-12 from the free throw line in the second half to salt the game away.
The Retrievers face another America East heavyweight on Monday, as Stony Brook visits on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The 2:00 p.m. contest will be televised by ESPNU.