BOSTON, Mass. – The Castleton University men's basketball team battled early, but the potent offense of UMass-Boston was too much as the Spartans fell on the road in Little East Conference play on Wednesday evening, 78-64.
Castleton falls to 3-5 overall on the season and 0-3 in LEC play, while the Beacons improve to 5-2 (1-2 LEC) with the victory. Both teams shot well from the floor, as Castleton went 22-of-49 (44.9 percent) from the field while the Beacons enjoyed a 32-of-68 (47.1 percent) night shooting. Castleton turned the ball over 23 times, leading to 32 UMass-Boston points, while the Beacons coughed it up just 14 times on the night. UMass-Boston controlled the boards, 37-27, while pouring in 54 points in the paint.
Tank Roberson posted a team-leading 13 points for Castleton, adding six assists and three rebounds in the contest. Richard Walker dropped 12 points in the loss, while Calvin Carter led Castleton on the glass with seven rebounds. Eric Shaw added eight points for the Spartans with a pair of threes in 15 minutes of action.
Javaris Hill led all players with 32 points on the night, shooting 14-of-21 from the field while added eight rebounds—five of which came on the offensive end. Charles Mitchell tallied 11 points and five rebounds, while Charlie Mitchell added 10 points and four boards.
The two sides traded blows throughout the first half, as the Spartans held a one-point edge, 15-14, with just more than 12 minutes to play in the opening 20 minutes after a pair of free throws from Chris O'Brien. A 5-0 run by the Spartans three minutes later gave them a 23-18 lead, but the Beacons countered with a 7-0 run to retake the lead, 25-23.
A pair of free throws by Eli Lombardi with 4:20 to play in the opening stanza put the Spartans back on top, 30-29, but a three-point play on the other end of the court pushed the hosts back in front, 32-30, on the ensuing possession. The two sides again went back-and-forth until the end of the half as the Spartans went to the locker room trailing by just four points, 40-36.
The Beacons came out of the halftime break with a vengeance, opening up on an 11-2 run to push their lead to 51-38. The defense locked down for UMass-Boston, keeping the Spartans off the scoreboard and off the glass in the second half, as Castleton shot just 9-of-26 over the final 20 minutes.
Each time the Spartans tried to make a run, the Beacons countered; Castleton was unable to put together any runs longer than four unanswered points in the second stanza. The Beacons took their largest lead of the contest with 9:24 to play, pushing the edge to 18 points—69-51—on a layup by Charlie Mitchell. Carter closed out the game with a pair of free throws for the Spartans to give the game its final score of 78-64.
Castleton returns to the hardwood on Tuesday evening as they hit the road to Fitchburg State for a non-conference matchup. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.