Vermont staves off UC Santa Barbara, 75-68

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BURLINGTON, Vermont (AP) Kurt Steidl scored 19 points on 5-of-12 shooting from the field to help lead Vermont to a 75-68 win over UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday night.

Darren Payen finished with 12 points and Cam Ward added 11 for the Catamounts (5-6), who got to the free throw line 36 times while moving to a perfect 3-0 at home this season.

Vermont never trailed and led 39-31 at halftime. An Ethan O'Day jumper with 10:42 left gave the Catamounts their first double digit lead of the night, 56-45.

A Steidl 3-pointer made 65-51 with 8:06 remaining, the largest lead of the game for Vermont.

Grant Troutt and Jarriersse Blackmon each hit 3's for UC Santa Barbara to cut the lead to six (72-66) with 57 seconds to play, but the Gauchos got no closer.

Michael Bryson scored 19 points and Gabe Vincent added 15 for UC Santa Barbara (2-6).