Spartan Men’s Hoop Earns Key Road NAC Victory

Spartan Men’s Hoop Earns Key Road NAC Victory

CASTLETON, Vt. – Castleton University took care of the ball throughout the day, posting a season-low turnover total as the Spartans jumped on top and then held on to defeat the Green Mountain College Eagles, 60-47, Saturday afternoon in a North Atlantic Conference men's basketball game at the Eagle Dome.

Julian Santos tied his career high with 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field, including 4-of-6 from behind the three-point line. Richard Walker hit both of his three-point shot attempts on his way to an eight-point performance, Tondi Mushandu finished with seven points and a team-high nine rebounds, and Pavin Parrish contributed seven points, five rebounds, two assists, and three steals.

After De Shaun Carr scored the first points of the game for Green Mountain, Castleton hit three straight three-pointers, the first two by Skyler Boyd, to pull ahead 9-2 three minutes into the game. Alex Sanchez made a three-pointer and Jacob Plum hit a layup to close the Eagle deficit to two at 9-7, but the Spartans responded with a 10-0 scoring run, capped by five straight points from Santos.

The two teams traded baskets through the rest of the first half and the first five minutes of the second half before the Eagles put together a 6-0 run, with layups by Plum and Diante Warner closing the Castleton lead to three at 39-36. Santos stopped the run with a traditional three-point play, and then consecutive three-pointers by Santos and Mushandu extended the Spartan lead back into double figures at 50-38.

Sanchez led all players with 19 points, hitting 5-of-12 shots from long distance. Sean Leflore collected seven points, 12 rebounds, four assists, and three steals, helping the Eagles win the rebounding battle, 47-35, including 23 offensive rebounds that led to 17 second-chance points for Green Mountain.

As a team, the Eagles shot just 29 percent (18-of-62) from the field, including 6-of-28 from behind the three-point line, and 45.5 percent (5-of-11) from the free throw line. Meanwhile, Castleton made 40 percent (22-of-55) of its field goal attempts, including 10-of-18 from behind the three-point line, and 60 percent (6-of-10) of its free throw chances.

The Spartans committed just 10 turnovers, their fewest amount of turnovers since the semifinals of last year's NAC Tournament against Thomas College. Castleton is now 8-2 since the beginning of 2018 and has put together its second three-game winning streak of the season.

Castleton (12-9, 9-5 NAC) hosts Colby-Sawyer College Tuesday, Feb. 6, at 7:30 p.m. at Glenbrook Gym. The fourth place Spartans are now just one game behind the third place Chargers in the NAC standings after Colby-Sawyer lost to conference leader Husson Saturday, 80-63.