CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University men's basketball team's woes continued on Wednesday night as the Spartans dropped a Little East Conference matchup with Rhode Island College, 71-55.
Castleton falls to 3-18 with the loss, including an 0-12 mark in conference play. RIC improves to 13-8 overall and 6-6 in league play. Castleton shot the ball well, going 22-of-50 on the night, while the Anchormen nearly matched them with a 22-of-52 mark. Rhode Island College was lights out from long range, making 15-of-33 from deep, while Castleton shot 7-of-20 from three. The Anchormen added 12 points at the free throw line, while Castleton managed just four makes at the charity stripe.
Casey Belade dropped a team-high 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting, adding five rebounds in the contest. Michael McKoy chipped in with a career-high 16 points to go along with four steals, while Igor Almeida pulled in a team-high six boards. Ben Mrowka added eight points off the bench for Castleton.
Adham Floyd was unstoppable in the first half for the Anchormen, knocking down each of his first six three-point attempts on his way to a 32-point night. He finished the evening 11-of-21 from the floor and 10-of-19 from three, while Deyshawn Tengbeh was the only other Anchorman to reach double digits with 12 points. Benhamin Vezele grabbed 13 rebounds along with nine points, and Jonatan Batista dished out five assists to lead all players.
The two sides battled closely in the early minutes of the first half, as Castleton employed a full-court press to take advantage of early miscues by the Anchormen. The Spartans led 12-11 with 13 minutes to play in the opening stanza, but a 6-0 run put Rhode Island College ahead 17-12 just minutes later. The lead extended to 14 points with less than seven minutes to go in the half when Floyd knocked down his seventh three of the half to make it 32-18. Rhode Island College continued to pull away into the break, leading 44-26 at halftime.
Castleton halved the deficit throughout the opening parts of the second half, cutting the RIC lead to just nine points with 10 minutes to play. The Spartans got no closer, however, as the Anchormen kept their foot on the gas by closing the game out on a 12-7 run, giving RIC the 71-55 victory.
The Spartans wrap up a three-game homestand on Saturday at 3 p.m. against Keene State.