DURHAM, N.H. -- Candon Rusin scored 15 points as Vermont defeated New Hampshire 64-51 Wednesday night in the teams' America East Conference opener.
Ethan O'Day added 11 points and Ryan Voelkel had 13 rebounds and six assists for the Catamounts (8-5), last season's conference champion.
Vermont has won 23 of its last 27 games against the Wildcats (4-9).
The Catamounts, who never trailed, closed the first half with a 10-2 run to lead 33-24. Two free throws and a layup by Clancy Rugg made it 27-22 with 2:32 remaining, and Rusin scored Vermont's final six points of the half.
The Catamounts led by as many as 20 points in the second half and by double figures for all but 1:23 of the final 20 minutes.
Mississippi State freshman guard Malik Newman will withdraw from the NBA draft, but sources told ESPN he might explore other opportunities besides returning to Mississippi State.
Seton Hall sophomore Isaiah Whitehead will stay in the NBA draft and not return for his junior season.
Washington State's trio of Josh Hawkinson, Conor Clifford and Ike Iroegbu have withdrawn from the NBA draft and will play their senior season with the Cougars.