Men’s Hoop: Balanced Attack Pushes Vermont Past Keiser in Exhibition

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

BURLINGTON – Darren Payen led four Vermont players in double figures with 16 points and UVM held off a feisty Keiser squad, 78-67, in exhibition action at Patrick Gym Saturday afternoon.
Payen, in his first game action as a Catamount, finished 5-of-6 from the field and 6-of-8 from the free throw line while adding four rebounds and two steals in 28 minutes of action. Senior Ethan O’Day chipped in 14 points and five boards while Trae Bell-Haynes and Kurt Steidl each scored 13 points. Steidl also grabbed 10 rebounds to register a double-double in a team-high 35 minutes.

For Keiser, Stanley Whitaker scored a game-high 18 points to go along with six assists and three rebounds. Deion McClenton and Brice Jenkins also reached double-figures for the Seahawks adding 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Vermont forced 17 Keiser turnovers and turned them into 22 points. Cam Ward corralled a team-high three steals.

The Catamounts led 27-18 late in the first half thanks to six straight points from Payen but Keiser trimmed that lead to one when Andrija Sarenac (eight points) hit a 3-pointer in transition right before halftime. Nate Rohrer pushed the Vermont lead back to seven at the break when he came off the bench to score back-to-back buckets including a reverse layup as the halftime buzzer sounded.

UVM built a 14-point cushion mid-way through the second half using a 10-3 run sparked by a three-point play from Bell-Haynes.

Keiser hit seven second-half 3-pointers to stay within striking distance but a Steidl triple with just under two minutes left in the game put Vermont up 71-61 and the Catamounts held on from there.

Vermont returns to action next weekend (Nov. 7) when it hosts St. Michael’s at 4 p.m. as part of a full day of hoops at Patrick Gym. The Catamount and Purple Knight women kick the day off with a 1 p.m. tipoff followed by the men in the nightcap.

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