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Vermont wins in America East opener, beats Hartford 81-69


BURLINGTON, Vermont — Dre Wills made 11 points and finished with seven assists and six steals as Vermont beat Hartford 81-69 in an America East opener on Wednesday night.

The Catamounts closed out the first half on a 6-0 run to lead 36-27. Kurt Steidl hit a 3-pointer after the break to spark a 13-4 run that gave Vermont (4-3, 1-0 America East) its largest lead.

Cam Ward led the Catamounts with 19 points on 5-of-8 shooting, and Hector Harold chipped in 12. The team combined to shoot 57.4 percent (27 of 47) from the floor.

Vermont got 24 points off turnovers and 35 from its bench, compared to just eight points off the bench for the Hawks.

Mark Nwakamma and Taylor Dyson each finished with 19 points for Hartford, and Yolonzo Moore II added 14. The Hawks (5-3, 0-1) have lost two in a row after a five-game win streak.

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