JOHNSON, Vt. – Chad Copeland scored a season-high 30 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for a double-double, and Edmund Fitzgerald also notched a double-double as Castleton University pulled away late to defeat Johnson State College, 79-67, Thursday evening in a North Atlantic Conference men's basketball game.
Copeland shot 12-of-17 from the field and 6-of-7 from the free throw line to reach his highest single-game scoring total of the season. Fitzgerald hit 7-of-11 shots from the field as he finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Julian Santos matched his career high scoring total with 12 points and Tondi Mushandu contributed 11 points, nine rebounds, and three assists.
Castleton scored the first five points of the game, but Johnson State responded with a 7-2 scoring run to tie the game two-and-a-half minutes into the game. After Marqwon Wynn hit a jumper to bring the Badgers to within one at 14-13, the Spartans scored nine unanswered points, five of those from Santos, to extend their lead to double digits nine minutes into the game.
After another layup by Wynn, Castleton scored five straight points, including another three-pointer from Santos, to extend the lead to 12. A 7-0 Spartan run later in the half kept the margin in double digits, as Castleton went into halftime ahead 48-36.
Johnson State (3-5, 0-2 NAC) worked its way back into the game thanks to a 10-2 run over a six-minute span in the second half, led by Hayden Tomlinson with five points during the stretch. After a Tomlinson three-pointer halfway through the second half cut the Spartan lead to two at 58-56, Castleton put the game away with a 12-1 scoring run, punctuated by a dunk by Fitzgerald.
Wynn led the Badgers with 20 points and five rebounds, Jeyquan Johnson finished with 12 points, and Tomlinson added 11 points off the bench. As a team, Johnson State shot 38.3 percent (23-of-60) from the field, including 9-of-26 from behind the three-point line, and 66.7 percent (12-of-18) from the free throw line.
The Spartans shot 58.9 percent (33-of-56) from the field, including 4-of-9 from behind the three-point line, but just 9-of-18 from the free throw line. Castleton dominated the rebounding battle, 40-24, and scored 56 points in the paint.
Castleton (6-2, 3-1 NAC) hosts Lyndon State at Glenbrook Gym Saturday, Dec. 10, starting at 1 p.m.