LOWELL, Mass. — Ernie Duncan poured in a season-high 32 points on 10-of-11 shooting and Drew Urquhart notched his first double-double of the season as Vermont defeated UMass Lowell 88-77 on Thursday night in an America East Conference opener.
Vermont (10-5) won its sixth straight conference opener.
Duncan was 5-of-6 shooting from 3-point range and made all seven of his free throws. Urquhart made 7 of 10 shots and scored a career-best 19 and tied his career high with 12 rebounds. Payton Henson added 15 points for Vermont, which shot 59 percent from the floor, 50 percent from 3-point range and won the rebound battle 33-20.
Vermont led 43-35 at halftime. Thomas hit a jumper to pull the River Hawks within 61-60 midway through the second half, but Duncan had 15 points and Urquhart scored seven over the final nine minutes to preserve the win.
Jahad Thomas scored 30 points with four rebounds, four assists and four steals for the River Hawks (6-8), who lost their conference opener for the first time in four years.
Rinardo Perry added 15 points for UMass Lowell, which shot 53 percent from the floor but just 5 of 19 (26 percent) from long range.