BURLINGTON — Marqus Blakely and Evan Fjeld each recorded a double-double, combining for 35 points and 20 rebounds to lead the Vermont men’s basketball team to a 64-51 victory over Maine on Wednesday night.

The Catamounts improve to 16-8 overall and 7-3 in America East play, taking over sole possession of second place in the conference with the win. Maine falls to 14-8 overall and 6-3 in America East.

Maine was led by Junior Bernal who had 12 points and nine rebounds.

The Catamounts came out on fire, taking a 7-0 lead. The Black Bears would hang with Vermont, and closed the lead to six when Bernal found Murphy Burnatoswki down low for a dunk to make it 13-7 with 14 minutes left.

The teams exchanged baskets and with 11:13 left in the first stanza, Vermont had a 15-9 lead.

The Catamounts took a 20-10 lead before Bernal made a nice layup off a feed from Sean McNally (Gardiner, Maine) with eight minutes left.

Maine and Vermont went back and forth the rest of the way and the Catamounts took a 37-29 lead into halftime.

Vermont shot 45.7 percent from the field in the first half while Maine shot 38.5 percent. Each team grabbed 18 rebounds.

Maine got a defensive stop to the second half as Burnatwoski had a block and Gerald McLemore knocked down a three-pointer on the other end to cut the lead to five.

The Catamounts went on a run to take a 47-37 lead with just over 15 minutes left.

The Black Bears slowly chipped away, and Terrance Mitchell made a pair of free throws with six minutes left to cut the Vermont lead to 49-44.

After Vermont took a 54-44 lead, Bernal jumped on a loose ball and dunked it over a Catamount to cut the lead to eight with just over four minutes to play.

Maine continued to battle but Vermont would make a few shots to put the game just out of reach of the Black Bears.

Burnatowski added 13 points, four rebounds and three steals.Troy Barnies of Auburn did not score in 13 minutes of action.


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