CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University men's basketball team dropped a Little East Conference matchup with Keene State on Saturday afternoon by a final score of 80-59 at Glenbrook Gym.
The Spartans fall to 3-19 on the season overall and 0-12 in LEC play, while Keene State wins its seventh consecutive game to improve to 15-7 overall and 10-3 against league opponents. The Owls shot 48.1 percent from the floor, cashing in on 26-of-54 shots on the day—including 7-of-24 from three (29.2 percent). Castleton went 20-of-48 for a 41.7 percentage from the field, while knocking down an impressive 10-of-22 (45.5 percent) from long range. The Owls knocked down 21-of-30 free throw attempts, while Castleton converted on 9-of-14 at the line.
The biggest difference in the game came on turnovers, as the Spartans were plagued by 20 turnovers that led to 28 points for the Owls, while 15 Keene State turnovers led to just three Castleton points. Keene State controlled the paint on both sides of the ball, outscoring Castleton 32-16 inside while swatting away five Spartan shots.
Denis LeCours led Castleton in scoring with 14 points off the bench, while Ben Mrowka and Michael Morgan added 10 points apiece. Mrowka, who was honored before the game as the team's lone senior, added a team-best four rebounds, two assists, and two blocks on the day. Igor Almeida had three steals for the Spartans on the afternoon, while Eric Shaw went 2-for-2 from distance for six points off the bench.
James Anozie had a day for Keene State, knocking down 8-of-10 attempts from the floor while making 7-of-10 at the free throw line for 23 total points. Ty Nichols added 14 points—half of which came from the free throw line—while Tony Harris dropped 11 points off the bench and Miguel Prieto had 10 points for the Owls. Prieto led the team with five assists, while Harris had a game-high eight rebounds.
Keene State jumped out to an early lead, but Castleton hung tough into the middle minutes of the first half. After a layup by Jordan Haywood pushed the Owl lead to eight points, LeCours cut into the deficit with a three on the ensuing possession to pull the Spartans back within five. Keene State continued to extend its lead, going up 10 points on a fast-break dunk by Edwin Ezedonmwen. The teams traded baskets into the break, as Keene State led by 10, 32-22, at the half.
The lead quickly jumped to 15 points out of the break when the Owls knocked down a three on the opening possession before converting a Castleton turnover into a fast-break layup. The Owls pulled away steadily over the ensuing minutes, as each time Castleton made a run, Keene State answered with one of its own. The largest lead of the game came with just 1:31 to play with Christopher Hover knocked down a jumper to put the Owls up 26. Mrowka knocked down a pair of free throws before LeCours capped the game's scoring with a three, giving the game its final of 80-59.
The Spartans return to the hardwood next Saturday at 3 p.m. at the University of Southern Maine.