CASTETON, Vt. – The Castleton University men's basketball team dropped its home finale on Wednesday night, falling to Eastern Connecticut State by a final score of 99-60 in Little East Conference action at Glenbrook Gym.
The Spartans fall to 3-21 overall and 0-15 in LEC play, while Eastern improves to 19-5 overall and 13-2 in league action. The Warriors shot 34-of-72 from the floor for a 47.2 rate, while Cstleton managed a 26-of-73 night shooting the ball (35.6 percent). Eastern was lights-out from long range, knocking down an impressive 17 threes, while dominating the glass 52-36.
Igor Almeida and Denis LeCours had 16 points apiece for the Spartans, while Casey Belade contributed 10 points on the night for Castleton. Almeida had eight rebounds and four steals for the Spartas, and Ben Mrowka added a team-high nine boards.
Jake Collagan led all players with 35 points and nine threes. Donny Craig scored 19 points for the Warriors, while Seth Thomas had 17 points and Carlos Gonzalez added 11. Leonel Hyatt picked up 12 rebounds for Eastern, while Thomas added 10 and Craig and Collagan added seven apiece. Gonzalez chipped in with six assists, and Jaysen Nunez added five helpers off the bench.
Castleton opened the game with the hot hand as Belade hit back-to-back threes for the Spartans before a Mrowka three made it 9-2 in favor of Castleton. Eastern answered with a 7-0 run that featured four made free throws by Craig, tying the game at 9-9 just three minutes in. The Warriors opened up a six-point lead, 25-19, with 11 minutes to play in the half, but a three from Michael Morgan sliced the lead in half at the 10-minute mark.
Eastern answered with a 7-0 run that pushed the lead to double-digits for the first time on the day, 32-22, but Castleton rebounded with five unanswered points of its own to make it 32-27. Three consecutive threes by Collagan extended the Warrior lead to 14 points, 41-27, with five minutes remaining in the half. The two sides battled back-and-forth into the break, with Eastern carrying a 52-36 lead into the locker room.
The Warriors opened the second half on a 9-2 run, pushing their lead to 23 points less than four minutes into the stanza. The advantage hit 33 points after back-to-back threes by Collagan and Thomas with less than 13 minutes to play before Castleton answered with a 6-0 run with baskets by three different players.
Eastern followed Castleton's run with a 13-2 run of its own, opening up a 40-point lead with eight minutes to play. The Warriors carried their large advantage to the final horn, claiming victory 99-60 in the final contest of the season at Glenbrook Gym.
Castleton wraps up its 2018-19 slate on Saturday at UMass-Dartmouth at 3 p.m.