CASTLETON, Vt. – In a competitive North Atlantic Conference men's basketball contest, Green Mountain College put together a scoring run over the final six minutes to defeat Castleton University, 62-56, Saturday afternoon at Glenbrook Gym.
After Chad Copeland completed a traditional three-point play to give Castleton a 49-45 advantage, Pierce Weatherspoon, Javier Lugris, and Thomas Brown all made layups to tie the game at 51-51. Lugris hit a three-pointer to give the Eagles the lead with four minutes remaining in regulation, and then Kenneth Parker made two free throws to extend the Eagle lead to 56-51.
Castleton closed to within two points at 58-56 on a layup by Tondi Mushandu with 1:26 left in the second half, but the Spartans turned the ball over on their next possession with a chance to tie the game. Lugris made a layup with 15 seconds remaining and Brown hit two free throws with 12 seconds to go to help Green Mountain solidify the victory.
Copeland notched a double-double, leading the Spartans with 21 points and 12 rebounds, while Mushandu also earned a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. As a team, Castleton shot 39 percent (23-of-59) from the field, including 2-of-14 from behind the three-point line, and 61.5 percent (8-of-13) from the free throw line.
For Green Mountain (6-4, 3-3 NAC), Lugris came off the bench and led all players with 23 points, hitting 10-of-13 shots from the field, including 3-of-5 from behind the three-point line. Weatherspoon finished with 14 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and three steals, and Patrick Rittmon contributed 10 points and seven rebounds. The Eagles shot 44.6 percent (25-of-56) from the field, including 5-of-19 from behind the three-point line, and 53.8 percent (7-of-13) from the free throw line.
Castleton scored the first six points of the game before Weatherspoon hit a three-pointer three-and-a-half minutes into the contest. That started an 11-2 scoring run that gave the Eagles an 11-8 lead, and then Green Mountain put together another run after a layup by Mushandu, outscoring the Spartans 12-4 to establish its biggest lead of the game at 23-14.
Down 32-24 after a Lugris three-pointer, Castleton finished the first half by scoring nine unanswered points, with Copeland and Jordan Nelson combining for the Spartan offense in the final 3:16 of the opening half.
Castleton won the rebounding battle, 43-32, including 15 offensive rebounds that led to 12 second-chance points for the Spartans. However, it was not enough as Castleton saw its four-game winning streak come to an end.
Castleton (9-3, 4-2 NAC) hosts Colby-Sawyer College Thursday, Jan. 12, at 5:30 p.m. at Glenbrook Gym.