CASTLETON, Vt. – After having Thanksgiving dinner together, the Castleton University men's basketball team is preparing to face Southern Vermont College Sunday, Nov. 27, starting at 3:30 p.m. at the Mountaineer Athletic Center in Bennington, Vt.
The Spartans improved to 2-1 as they won their second consecutive home game Tuesday night, holding on to defeat regional rival Plymouth State, 52-50. Chad Copeland once again led Castleton in scoring, shooting 7-of-12 from the field as he finished with 18 points, while Edmund Fitzgerald notched a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds, plus he dished out three assists and earned two blocked shots.
Copeland is third in the North Atlantic Conference in scoring, averaging 20.7 points per game, as he is shooting 57.5 percent from the field and 72.2 percent from the free throw line. Fitzgerald and Tondi Mushandu are tied for fourth in the league in field goal percentage, hitting 62.5 percent (10-of-16) of their attempts from the field, while Jordan Nelson is tied for fifth in the NAC in assists with 3.7 helpers per game.
Southern Vermont evened its record at 2-2 with a 95-84 home victory over Johnson State Tuesday night. Rayshawn Taylor hit 8-of-15 shots from the field and 8-of 10 attempts from the charity stripe to lead the Mountaineers with 25 points, plus he pulled down eight rebounds and earned three steals. Davante Jordan finished with 20 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and five steals, and Nate Goldsmith notched a double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds.
Southern Vermont posted a 49-8 (.860) record over the previous two seasons, winning the ECAC New England title in 2014-15 and advancing into the NCAA Tournament after winning the NECC Tournament in 2015-16. So far this year, the Mountaineers are averaging 77.3 points per game, shooting 39.9 percent from the field, including 29.0 percent from behind the three-point line, and 59.1 percent from the free throw line. Southern Vermont is also on a two-game winning streak, defeating Trinity (83-80) and Johnson State after losses to Keene State and Bowdoin.
The Mountaineers have won the last four meetings over Castleton, with the Spartans last defeating Southern Vermont Nov. 30, 2000, 69-49. Southern Vermont won last year's meeting at Glenbrook Gym, 100-82, as the Mountaineers shot 59.7 percent from the field, including 12-of-19 from behind the three-point line. Copeland hit 10-of-16 shots from the field and 6-of-7 from the free throw line to lead all players in the game with 28 points.