BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – The Castleton University men's basketball team suffered its first loss of the season on Friday evening as the Spartans fell to former North Atlantic Conference rival Colby-Sawyer, 90-64, in non-conference action at The Cave Classic hosted by Bridgwater State University.
Tank Roberson led the scoring attack for Castleton (1-1), putting up 17 points on 6-of-16 shooting while dishing out three assists. Igor Almeida chipped in with 10 points and six rebounds off the bench, while Casey Belade scored 10 points of his own in 20 minutes off the bench. Julian Santos had a team-leading four assists while adding six points, and Richard Walker scored seven points with three rebounds.
Four of Colby-Sawyer's five starters went for double-digit point totals, while Nick Backer scored 12 points off the bench in 16 minutes. Jourdain Bell poured in a game-high 19 points, while Dana Bean logged a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Patrick Coffery posted 16 points and six boards for the Chargers, while KJ Synvrit had 12 points and five rebounds.
Castleton led early in the contest, carrying a 12-10 through the 13:00 mark in the opening half. Colby Saywer took a 13-12 lead on a three-ball from Backer. The two sides traded scores until midway through the first 20 minutes, as Walker buried a three for Castleton to cut a four-point Colby-Sawyer lead to just one point, 19-18. After the Chargers called timeout with 9:14 to play until the break, they closed out the half on a 29-10 run, including an 8-0 run directly after the timeout.
The Spartans tightened up their play in the second half, shooting 40.0 percent from the field in the second 20 minutes while making 9-of-11 free throws. The Spartans closed a 26-point deficit early in the half to 15 points thanks to an 11-0 run that featured a pair of triples from Belade. Colby-Sawyer ended the Castleton run and ripped off eight consecutive points of its own, pushing the edge back to 23 points before the teams traded blows on the way out, giving the game its final score of 90-64.
Colby-Sawyer shot an impressive 48.1 percent from the floor as a team, while Castleton posted a field goal percentage of 38.1 percent. Castleton was 8-for-24 (33.3 percent), while the Chargers made 9-of-23 (39.1 percent) of their attempts from long range on the afternoon. Colby-Sawyer controlled the glass, outrebounding the Spartans 50-30. The biggest difference maker in the game proved to be second-chance scoring, as Colby-Sawyer converted 19 offensive rebounds into 29 points, while Castleton turned eight offensive boards into just seven points.
Castleton returns to the court on Saturday at 1 p.m. to face host Bridgewater State in the consolation game of The Cave Classic.