- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 22, 2017

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Kevin Vannatta had career highs with 25 points and five 3-pointers and UNC Asheville never trailed in beating Monmouth 62-51 on Wednesday night.

Ahmad Thomas added 13 points, 12 rebounds, four steals and five assists for the Bulldogs (3-2), which made 8 of 18 from 3-point range.

Thomas made back-to-back layups, Vannatta hit three 3-pointers, and the Bulldogs led 49-35 midway through the second half. Monmouth closed to 56-47 on Ray Salnave’s 3 with 3:48 to play, but Vannatta answered with two free throws.

The Bulldogs opened with a 16-7 run capped by Thomas’ layup, then led 28-18 after Jaleen Seegars’ layup. Monmouth rallied to 28-27 with a 10-0 run in which Pierre Starr hit two 3s. Vannatta scored six straight and UNC Asheville led 34-27 at halftime.

Austin Tilghman scored 11 points with three assists for Monmouth (2-3).

It was the first meeting between the teams.

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