ALBANY, NY – Darren Payen scored a game-high 17 points off the bench to lead America East preseason favorite Vermont past Siena Basketball 76-60 in the Saints’ 2016 and non-conference finale at the Times Union Center. Red-shirt senior forward Brett Bisping posted his fourth double-double of the season, and 22nd of his career, in pacing Siena with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Trae Bell-Haynes added 16 points for Vermont (9-5) which defeated Siena (4-9, 1-1) for the seventh consecutive season. Anthony Lamb, Kurt Steidl and Dre Willis added identical stat lines of eight points and six rebounds for the Catamounts which held a 40-31 advantage on the glass in becoming the first team to out-rebound the Saints in the past 10 games.
Sophomore guard Nico Clareth scored 10 points, and freshman forward Sammy Friday contributed a season-high six points in 11 spirited minutes off the bench for Siena which finishes with a final non-conference record of 3-8. Nine of the Saints 11 non-conference opponents currently sport .500 or better records, with those nine teams combining to post a 76-41 (.650) record entering play today.
Vermont led for the final 26 minutes after breaking a second first half tie with six straight points to claim a 27-21 lead late in the opening stanza. The Catamounts led 36-30 at the break.
Siena scored the first four points of the second half to pull back within as close as two, and trailed by just five with 15:11 to play. But Vermont embarked upon an 11-2 run to open a 14-point advantage with 11:10 remaining and maintained its double digit lead the rest of the way.
Siena tips off 2017 and returns to conference action when the Saints embark on their annual Western New York swing next week. The trip begins with a Monday matinee in Buffalo at Canisius, with tip-off scheduled for 2 p.m. in a game that will be televised statewide on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.