Men’s Hoop: Second Half Troubles as Vermont Bows at Eastern Michigan

YPSILANTI, Mich. – Eastern Michigan turned 21 Vermont turnovers into 25 points en route to a 70-50 victory over the Catamounts in both teams’ regular season opener.
Kurt Steidl posted the first double-double of his career in the loss scoring 11 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Steidl played 35 minutes and connected on three 3-pointers. Ernie Duncan scored a team-high 14 points and grabbed six rebounds off the bench.

Willie Mangum and Tim Bond led the way for the Eagles scoring 18 and 15 points respectively.

Eastern Michigan stormed out of the gates with a quick 9-3 spurt to start the game and led by 10 after a one-handed transition dunk by Bond with six minutes gone by the first half. Vermont settled in to the game and responded with a 6-0 run of its own with 3-pointers from Steidl and Cam Ward.

The Eagles continued to apply pressure out of their 2-3 zone pushing the lead back out to 10 at the 7:59 mark of the half. But fueled by three blocks from Ethan O’Day on one end and buckets from four different players on the other, Vermont closed the half on a 15-2 run to head to the locker room with a 30-27 lead.

With the score 41-39 EMU with 12:29 to play in the game, Eastern Michigan turned up the defensive pressure and held UVM to just three points over the next eight-plus minutes. The 15-3 run put the game out of reach for the Catamounts, who have now lost three straight season openers.

Things don’t get any easier for Vermont as it finishes up a two-game season-opening road trip Sunday afternoon at nationally ranked Purdue. Tipoff against the Boilermakers is set for 2 p.m. from Mackey Arena. All the action can be seen on ESPN3 and heard locally on your FM dial by tuning to 101.3 ESPN.

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