DURHAM, N.H. – Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.) scored a game-high 19 points, but the University of Vermont men's basketball team defeated the University of New Hampshire, 64-51, in the America East conference opener for both schools on Wednesday night.
UNH, which suffered its fourth straight loss, fell to 4-9 on the season and 0-1 in league play. UVM improved to 8-5, 1-0 in America East.
Myrick, who was named the America East Player of the Game for UNH, shot 5-of-15 from the floor including a trio of 3-pointers to go along with five rebounds and two blocks. Senior Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) also reached double figures with 14 points and three assists. Junior Chris Pelcher (Albany, N.Y.) added eight points and six boards.
Candon Russin and Ethan O'Day tallied 15 and 11 points for the Catamounts, respectively, while Brian Voelkel snagged 13 rebounds.
Vermont opened up the contest with an 11-5 lead through the first 3:36, but a layup by Rhoads sparked a 7-2 Wildcat run to trim the deficit to 13-12 at 14:24. After Ben Crenca stopped the stretch with a jumper, junior Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) knocked down a shot from beyond the arc to even the score at 15-15 with 11:09 left to play.
From there, the teams alternated a pair of baskets to remain tied at 19-19, before the Catamounts closed out the half with a 12-5 run over a 7:28 span for the 33-24 advantage at intermission. Myrick led the Wildcats with seven points in the first half, while Russin and O'Day paced the Catamounts with eight points apiece.
New Hampshire opened the second half with a jumper from Pelcher, but Vermont answered right back with five quick points. After Myrick countered the attack with a pair of free throws, Voelkel drained a 3-pointer to push the Catamounts in front, 41-28, at the 16:12 mark.
The Wildcats responded with five straight points from Rhoads to pull within eight, but the visitors used a 12-0 run to stretch their lead to 53-33 midway through the stanza.
The Wildcats punched right back with a eight straight points, sparked by a pair of treys from Myrick, but the home side could not pull within single digits as the Catamounts held on the rest of the way for the victory.
The Wildcats return to action on Saturday, Jan. 5 when they visit Stony Brook at 2 p.m.