Vermont's Comeback Falls Short at Wagner

Vermont's Comeback Falls Short at Wagner

The Wagner Seahawks outscored UVM 13-5 over the final 5:08 of the contest to post a 68-61 win in non-conference men's basketball action on Thursday night.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - The Vermont Catamounts erased a 13-point halftime deficit and took a 56-55 lead with 5:21 remaining in the game, but the Wagner Seahawks outscored UVM 13-5 over the final 5:08 of the contest to post a 68-61 win in non-conference men's basketball action on Thursday night. Vermont moves to 1-4 overall while Wagner improves to 3-2 on the year.

"We had a poor first half that cost us again," said Vermont head coach John Becker. "We have to shoot the ball better and execute better down the stretch."

Wagner used a 21-9 run and limited Vermont to just two field goals over the final 12:42 of the first half to take a 35-22 advantage into halftime.

For the second straight game, the Catamounts came out of the locker room and made a run to climb back into the contest. UVM put together an 18-8 spurt, behind six points from Clancy Rugg, and capped by back-to-back baskets from Sandro Carissimo, to slice the lead to three, 43-40, with 12:26 left in the game.

Wagner pushed its lead back to seven, but the Catamounts remained in striking distance. At the 7:31 mark, UVM scored 10 of the next 12 points and Candon Rusin converted a three-point play to give Vermont its first lead of the game, 56-55.

Orlando Parker scored on the next Wagner possession to put the Seahawks back in front by one, but Brian Voelkel made one of two free throws to tie the score up at 57-57 with 3:14 left on the clock.

Wagner closed the game with a 10-4 run, aided by a 9-for-10 effort from the foul line, to hold off the Catamounts and pick up the victory.

Rugg finished the night with a game-high 18 points, before fouling out, to lead Vermont. Hector Harold added 11 points, a career best in a Catamount uniform, and Candon Rusin chipped in 10 points. Brian Voelkel grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.

Kenneth Ortiz netted a team-high 15 points to lead four Seahawks in double figures and Parker collected a team-high seven rebounds.

Vermont continues its seven-game road swing when the Catamounts travel to Durham, N.C. to face No. 6 Duke on Sunday (Nov. 24). Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPNU and can also be heard on ESPN 101.3 FM (online at 1013ESPN.com) with A.J. Kanell on the call.

NOTES: Vermont had nine healthy players available against Wagner … Rugg has reached double figures in all five games this season and eight straight games dating back to last year's America East Tournament … Voelkel has reached double-digits in four of the five games this season and is 47 shy of 1,000 career rebounds … He went over the 950 mark tonight with 11 caroms ... During UVM's seven-game road swing, the Catamounts will travel 7,979 miles and play games on both the East and West Coast.

---Courtesy: UVM Athletics
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