DARTMOUTH, Mass. – The Castleton University men's basketball team saw its season come to a close on Saturday afternoon, falling to UMass-Dartmouth by a final score of 81-65 in Little East Conference action.
Castleton concludes the season with a 3-22 record overall and a 0-16 against league schools after its first season in the LEC. The Corsairs wrap the regular season with an 18-7 record overall to pair with a 12-4 mark in league action.
UMass-Dartmouth outshot Castleton 46.8 percent (36-of-77) to 40.7 percent (24-of-59), though Castleton drained 11 threes on the day to UMass-Dartmouth's three. The Spartans were 11-of-27 from long range for a 40.7 percent clip. The Corsairs edged Castleton on the glass, 40-37, but Castleton coughed the ball up 23 times—leading to 20 Corsair points—while UMass-Dartmouth committed just seven turnovers on the day. UMass-Dartmouth dominated the paint, scoring 46 points down low while allowing Castleton just 18 points in the paint.
Casey Belade dropped a team-high 15 points for Castleton on 5-of-10 shooting, knocking down 3-of-4 from distance. Igor Almeida added a double-double—the first of his career—with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Denis LeCours added 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting off the bench, while Ben Mrowka added nine points and five rebounds in his final collegiate contest.
Arinze Obiora led all scorers with 21 points for the Corsairs, shooting 10-of-17 while hauling in 14 rebounds for the double-double. Adam Seablom scored 14 points in 14 minutes off the bench, while Atakan Akcam narrowly missed a double-double of his own with 10 points and eight boards. Akcam added four steals, as did Obiora, while Marcus Azor led the way with six assists.
The Spartans hung tight the entire opening half, as it was just a four-point game, 22-18, with less than nine minutes to play in the half after Belade buried a three with an assist from Joshua Watts. The Corsairs began to pull away from that point, opening up a 10-point lead over the next two minutes thanks to five points from Seablom in that stretch. The two teams went back-and-forth until the clock was under four minutes for the half, when Castleton cut into the Corsair lead again with a quick run that featured a three from LeCours and a jumper from Almeida to make it 34-29 in favor of the Corsairs. The score tightened even more when LeCours buried another three with 1:19 to play, cutting the lead to just two points—36-34. The Corsairs added two quick layups at the end of the half, however, sending the game into the break with the score favoring UMass-Dartmouth, 40-34.
Castleton continued to chip away in the second half, working it back to a three-point game with 13:36 remaining when Belade capped a 7-0 run with a three ball to make it 54-51. A layup by Belade and a three from Mrowka bookended a layup by Azor to cut the gap to just two points, 58-56, but a 17-2 run from the Corsairs that spanned five minutes of gameplay effectively ended the Spartans' hopes of a comeback, pushing the score to 75-58 with less than five minutes to play in the contest as both sides traded scores into the final horn.