Munford scores 25, Rhode Island uses first-half surge to pull away from Vermont in 76-66 win

Xavier Munford scored 25 points and Rhode Island used a big run to close out the first half and pull away from Vermont in a 76-66 win Saturday.

The Rams (2-6) posted their first victory at the Ryan Center under first-year coach Dan Hurley.

Trailing 20-18 with 6:09 left in the first half, Rhode Island launched a 21-4 run, with Munford scoring the first six points and Mike Aaman pouring in nine. The Catamounts (4-2) scored only one point in the final 4:31 before intermission.

The Rams expanded the lead to 22, at 56-34 with 11:57 remaining, but the Catamounts closed the gap to 68-61 with 57 seconds left on Sandro Carissimo's layup. Rhode Island made 6 of 10 free throws down the stretch.

Aaman scored a career-high 15 points off the bench and Andre Malone added 14.

Clancy Rugg led Vermont with 16 points and Carissimo added 15.