Spartan Men’s Hoop Earns First Victory of Season

Spartan Men’s Hoop Earns First Victory of Season

CASTLETON, Vt. – Castleton University opened the second half with an 11-0 run to extend a small halftime lead, as the Spartans shot 63 percent from the field on their way to a 79-65 victory over the Curry Colonels Friday night in a non-conference men's collegiate basketball game at Glenbrook Gym.

Ahead by just one at halftime, Castleton started the second half with a three-pointer by Pavin Parrish, and then Edmund Fitzgerald connected on consecutive layups. After a steal by Parrish, Fitzgerald fed Tondi Mushandu for a fast break layup, and then Fitzgerald earned a steal and passed the ball to Jordan Nelson, who found Parrish for another fast break basket, extending the Spartan lead to 45-33 just over three minutes into the second half.

Curry (0-2) went on an 8-2 scoring run midway through the second half, punctuated by a traditional three-point play by Jason O'Neil, to close its deficit to eight at 54-46. Later in the half, James Pina scored five straight points to bring the Colonels within seven at 62-55, but Chad Copeland answered with five unanswered points of his own as the Spartans increased the lead to 15 at 70-55 with 4:31 remaining in the second half.

Four players scored in double figures for the Spartans, led by Copeland with his second consecutive 22-point performance. Mushandu shot 7-of-9 from the field as he finished with 15 points and five rebounds, Nelson went 4-of-5 from the field and 4-of-5 from the free throw line for 12 points, and Parrish added 11 points along with a team-high four steals.

Pina was Curry's best player throughout the night, collecting 24 points on 11-of-18 shooting from the field, plus he pulled down eight rebounds and earned five steals. As a team, the Colonels shot 44.4 percent (24-of-54) from the field, including 4-of-15 from behind the three-point line, and 59.1 percent (13-of-22) from the free throw line.

Castleton hit 29-of-46 shots from the field, the first time the Spartans connected on over 60 percent of their field goal attempts since Feb. 22, 2013 against Maine-Farmington. In the second half alone, Castleton hit 73.7 percent (14-of-19) of its field goal attempts and 80 percent (16-of-20) of its free throw attempts.

Castleton (1-1) hosts Plymouth State Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 7:30 p.m. at Glenbrook Gym in the second game of a basketball doubleheader, with the Spartan women facing the Panther women at 5:30 p.m.