The Catamounts (12-6, 5-1) have a half-game edge over Albany and the Seawolves (13-5, 4-1), whom they defeated in last season's conference tournament final.
Rusin scored eight points during a 12-0 run early in the second half that gave Vermont a 44-29 advantage.
Stony Brook, after trailing by as many as 18 points, got to within four, 65-61 with 2:48 left, after a dunk by Tommy Brenton. But Sandro Carissimo responded with a layup and two free throws on Vermont's next two possessions for an eight-point lead.
Brian Voelkel had six assists for Vermont, giving him 405 for his career.
Guard Naz Mitrou-Long, whose 2015-16 season ended in December due to hip problems, has been granted a hardship waiver for the coming season, Iowa State said.
As the Sooners look to life without superstar Buddy Hield and his sidekicks, it's clear their unseasoned players will need to grow up fast.
The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association says it won't move its headquarters, its basketball tournament or other conference championships from North Carolina, despite