The Catamounts improved to 17-5 and 8-2 in America East as they downed New Hampshire 63-49 on Monday, Jan. 31 in Patrick Gym.
Senior Joey Accaoui scored a game-high 15 points and standout first year Brian Voelkel added 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
New Hampshire was held to 4-24 from beyond the three-point arc as the Catamount defense locked down the Wildcats in the second half to close out the game.
Vermont finished the game with an 11-point run and made the Wildcats miss their final 10 shots and commit three turnovers in the final 7:28.
The Wildcats were held to 33.9 percent shooting, while Vermont shot 49 percent from the floor.
“We have guarded [well] enough to hold teams to 33 percent shooting after every game [this season],” Vermont head coach Mike Lonergan said. “We really did a good job guarding the three-point line.”
The team was boosted by a 32-6 bench scoring advantage as first year Luke Apfeld netted eight points off the bench and senior Evan Fjeld recorded nine points and six rebounds.
“I thought defense and rebounding were going to be key,” Lonergan said. “We did get out-rebounded, and they had way too many offense rebounds — 15. We didn’t do a great job boxing out, especially on the long rebounds.”
The team is now 10-1 in Patrick Gym and 3-0 when Voelkel scores in double digits. According to Lonergan, Accaoui’s play was crucial in the Catamount’s ability to secure the victory.
“It was a tight game and I decided to go with Joey a little bit more, and he really came through,” Lonergan said. “They were so worried about Evan that it opened up some driving lanes for him.”
The team looks to maintain their top spot in America East while staying true to the values they’ve played with all season.
“We are playing well right now,” Accaoui said. “We can’t settle, we can’t take anyone lightly.”
Keeping that message in mind, the Catamounts traveled to West Hartford, Conn. on Thursday and defeated the University of Hartford 61-47.
First year Sandro Carissimo scored a career-high 14 points and grabbed five rebounds and Voelkel recorded eight points, 12 rebounds and five assists as the Catamounts won their sixth straight game improving to 18-5 and 9-2 in conference play.
Hartford was held to 47 points on 29.5 percent shooting by the Catamounts, both of which are season lows for UVM opponents.
Vermont was able to convert from the free-throw line shooting 21-23 — 91.3 percent — from the stripe and had all five starters score at least eight points.
Vermont looks to keep up its strong defense and winning ways as they continue into the season.