CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University men's basketball team was stymied by a strong defensive effort from the University of Southern Maine on Saturday afternoon, falling 71-57 in Little East Conference action at Glenbrook Gym.
Tank Roberson scored a team-leading 14 points for the Spartans (3-4, 0-2 LEC), adding six assists and four rebounds. Calvin Carter and Richard Walker each added 12 points for Castleton. Carter was an efficient 5-for-6 from the field and added seven boards in the loss. Igor Almeida led all players with 10 rebounds while playing just 20 minutes off the bench.
Three scorers reach the double-digit plateau for the Huskies, led by a 27-point effort from Christian McCue. McCue shot 41.7 percent (10-for-24) from the floor while making 4-of-12 from three-point range. Derek Haney added 16 points off the bench, shooting 6-of-11 from the floor, while Jayvon Pitts-Young tallied 13 points on 7-of-7 from the free-throw line and 3-of-7 from the field. Pitts-Young, Sean Jany and Kevin Weisser each grabbed seven rebounds to tie for a team-high for the Huskies, with Jany adding an impressive six blocks to his stat line.
Southern Maine narrowly own the rebounding battle, 41-38, but the Huskies outshot Castleton 38.5 percent (25-for-65) to 35.0 percent (21-for-60) while making nine threes to Castleton's five. The Spartans shot 90.9 percent (10-for-11) from the free-throw line, its highest single-game mark when attempting 10 or more free throws since the 2014-15 season.
Castleton got off to a slow start as the Huskies ran out to a 10-point lead at the 12-minute media timeout, 16-6. With 11:40 to play in the opening half, Roberson drove to the basket for a layup to stop the bleeding, sparking a 10-0 run that spanned more than five minutes and tied the game at 16-16. The Huskies tried to pull away from there, going on an 8-2 run, but Castleton closed the half with a three-pointer from Carter to sit just three points back at the break, 28-25.
The Spartans came out of the locker room firing in the second half, opening up on a 6-0 run to grab a 31-28 lead. The two sides traded baskets until Haney drilled a three with 13:38 to play, putting USM up 41-38—a lead they would never relinquish. Leading by six points with less than four minutes to play, the Huskies rattled off 10 consecutive points to push their lead to its largest margin, 71-55, before closing out the contest.
Castleton hits the hardwood once again on Wednesday evening when it travels to UMass-Boston for an LEC duel with the Beacons. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.