CASTLETON, Vt. – Castleton University shot 68.8 percent from the field in the first half and scored 27 points off 22 Lyndon turnovers as the Spartans defeated the Hornets, 87-70, Tuesday night in a North Atlantic Conference men's basketball game at Glenbrook Gym.
Jordan Nelson enjoyed a perfect shooting night, going 6-for-6 from the field and making his only free throw attempt to score 13 points, plus he dished out five assists and earned three steals. Tondi Mushandu also finished with 13 points and three steals, Casey Belade hit three three-pointers to score nine points, and Josh Hanson led the Spartans with eight rebounds to go along with six points.
The two teams exchanged baskets in the first four minutes of the game, with Lyndon's Kendrick Mills hitting a three-pointer to give the Hornets an 11-10 lead. Nelson scored five straight points to start a 22-4 Castleton scoring run over the next seven minutes, with a three-pointer from Belade extending the Spartan lead to 32-15 with nine minutes remaining in the first half.
Three-pointers from Denis LeCours and Mushandu in the final two minutes of the first half gave Castleton a 52-28 halftime lead, and then the Spartans opened the second half with a 9-2 scoring run to take their largest lead of the night at 61-30 three minutes after halftime. The Hornets put together a 13-2 scoring run midway through the half, but the Spartan lead proved to be too much for Lyndon to overcome.
CJ Jimmy notched a double-double, leading the Hornets with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Robbie Rouelle also scored 15 points and Mills chipped in 12 points and five rebounds. As a team, the Hornets shot 45.3 percent (24-of-53) from the field, including 6-of-16 from behind the three-point line, and 94.1 percent (16-of-17) from the free throw line.
After hitting 22-of-32 field goal attempts in the first half, Castleton cooled off in the second half, but still finished the game at 53.8 percent (35-of-65) from the field, including 12-of-29 from behind the three-point line, and a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line. The Spartans tied their season low with just 11 turnovers while they dished out 19 assists.
Lyndon (2-16, 2-10 NAC) did win the rebounding battle, 35-24, including 12 offensive rebounds that led to 11 second-chance points. Gerald Fleming led all players with five steals to go along with six points, three rebounds, and two assists.
Castleton (11-9. 8-5 NAC) heads to Poultney, Vt., for its first meeting of the season against Green Mountain College Saturday, Feb. 3, at 3 p.m. The Spartans return to Glenbrook Gym for a key NAC contest against Colby-Sawyer College next Tuesday, Feb. 6, at 7:30 p.m.