BURLINGTON, Vt. — The Vermont Catamounts shot 60 percent from the field Tuesday night while pulling away for a 92-65 America East men’s basketball victory over the University of Maine at Patrick Gym.
The Catamounts (15-9, 9-1 AE) lit up the scoreboard during the last seven minutes of the first half to break the game open. Vermont retained a share of first place in the league standings, while UMaine (5-17, 3-7 AE) slipped into eighth place among nine teams.
Sandro Carissmo went 4-for-5 from long range on his way to a game-high 20 points, and dished out seven assists and made three steals. Clancy Rugg provided 15 points and five assists for the Catamounts, who scored 23 points after the Black Bears’ 13 turnovers.
Ethan O’Day logged 12 points and four blocked shots, and Candon Rusin added 10 points for the winners.
Junior Zarko Valjarevic also had a 4-for-5 on 3-pointers and finished with 19 points to spark UMaine. Kilian Cato matched that shooting effort and tallied 15 points while Xavier Pollard contributed 10 points and five assists.
Christian Ejiga added six points and five rebounds, Vermont grabbed a 38-26 rebounding edge.
UMaine was without sophomore guard Dimitry Akanda-Coronel for the third and final game as he served a suspension for an undisclosed violation of university policy.
The Black Bears return to action Saturday at Binghamton.
The Catamounts manufactured a 51-33 halftime advantage by dominating the last eight minutes of the period.
Vermont outscored UMaine 25-7 during the final 7:40, turning a tie game into the beginnings of a rout. The hosts made eight of their last 10 field-goal attempts while the Black Bears struggled at the offensive end.
The Catamounts shot a blistering 68 percent from the field in the half, going 21-for-31, including 5-for-7 on 3-pointers. Vermont scored 11 points after UMaine turnovers, of which there were six.
The Catamounts also blocked six shots.
Carissimo hit three 3’s on his way to 15 points and Rugg posted 11 points and six rebounds.
UMaine was paced by Valjarevic, whose three 3’s led to 12 points. Pollard added seven points for the Bears, who shot 43 percent from the field.
It was a 31-28 contest when the Catamounts heated up. Carissimo made 3-pointers 51 seconds apart, then Luke Apfeld sandwiched baskets around a Pollard jumper to give Vermont a 41-30 lead with 4:03 left in the half.
Ethan O’Day and Rugg scored around a Valjarevic 3-pointer and Brian Voelkel sank a free throw before Voelkel converted a conventional three-point play and Carissimo snipped a jumper to push the advantage to 18 at the break.