The Catamounts (2-1) scored the first 15 points of the game and never looked back.
Isaiah Powell added 10 points for Vermont.
The two teams square off again on Monday afternoon.
The Catamounts are now 70-7 in their last 77 America East contests, including tournament action. The seven conference losses in the last four seasons are the third-least in the nation, just behind Gonzaga (four) and New Mexico State (six). Meanwhile, the Highlanders left the Atlantic Sun Conference after five seasons to become the 10th member of the AEC.
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On the outside looking in most of the season, Michigan State has played its way into tourney consideration.
No. 21 Loyola holds on to beat Southern Illinois 60-52
— Marquise Kennedy scored 16 points, and No. 21 Loyola Chicago hung on to beat Southern Illinois 60-52 on Friday night.
Berhow scores 15 to carry N. Iowa over Illinois St. 70-56
— Trae Berhow posted 15 points as Northern Iowa defeated Illinois State 70-56 on Friday night.