SAN FRANCISCO -- Sandro Carissimo scored 24 points as Vermont erased a 12-point halftime deficit to beat Illinois State 87-76 in the Golden Gate Challenge Wednesday night.
Illinois State (1-4) shot a blistering 55.2 percent in the first half on their way to a 43-31 lead. Vermont (2-5) found their footing in the second half and began chipping away at that lead.
Carissimo drained two 3-pointers as part of a 15-5 run, and the Catamounts cut the lead to 56-55. The Redbirds responded with a small run, holding on to the lead.
Hector Harold drained a 3-pointer with around seven minutes left, tying the game at 63. Tied at 65, Vermont ripped off a 16-4 run to open a 79-67 lead with 2:58 left. Clancy Rugg scored 10 of his 21 points during the run. His total matched his career high.
The Redbirds never recovered.
Zach Lofton led Illinois State with 19 points.