CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University men's basketball team continues a season-opening stretch of five games in 11 days by participating in the Hampton Inn Tournament, hosted by UMass-Dartmouth, this weekend, Nov. 17-18.
The Spartans will face Curry College Friday, Nov. 17, at 5:30 p.m. Depending on the result, Castleton will then take on the host Corsairs or Elms College at 5 p.m. or 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18.
Castleton is coming off an 89-79 loss to Skidmore College Wednesday in the season opener. The Spartans shot 53.3 percent from the field in the first half, but only 27.9 percent from the field after halftime. Castleton did force Skidmore into 22 turnovers, plus the Spartans pulled down 17 offensive rebounds leading to 16 second-chance points.
Jordan Nelson led the Spartans with 13 points and a career-high nine assists, while Pavin Parrish contributed 12 points in the contest. Castleton employed a balanced offensive attack, as seven different players scored at least six points in Wednesday's game.
Curry College is opening its 2017-18 season with Friday's game against the Spartans. Last season, the Colonels posted a 1-24 overall record, with their only victory coming against Maine-Presque Isle on Dec. 30, 2016.
As a team, Curry averaged 63.6 points per game in 2016-17 while shooting 36.3 percent from the field, including 30.2 percent from behind the three-point line, and 68.1 percent from the free throw line. Jared Thorpe-Johnson is the team's leading returner after averaging 10.7 points per game last season for the Colonels.
This will be the fifth meeting between Castleton and Curry, with the two schools splitting the previous four contests. Last season at Glenbrook Gym, the Spartans defeated the Colonels, 79-65, led by Chad Copeland with 22 points and Tondi Mushandu with 15 points, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals. James Pina led Curry with 24 points, eight rebounds, and five steals.
UMass-Dartmouth also lost its season opener, falling to Salem State Wednesday night, 67-63. The Corsairs were led by Joshua Imadiyi with 19 points and 14 rebounds, while Atakan Akcam finished with 14 points, eight rebounds, and two blocked shots. UMass-Dartmouth is coming off a 17-10 record in 2016-17, including a 9-5 mark within the Little East Conference.
Elms College lost its season opener Wednesday night to Gordon, 85-66. Michal Ohradka led the Blazers in scoring with 18 points, with Keeshaun King contributing 11 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Last season, Elms posted a 4-21 overall record, including a 4-12 mark within the NECC.
If Castleton faces UMass-Dartmouth, it would be the first meeting ever between the Spartans and the Corsairs, but not the last one as Castleton joins the Little East Conference next year. Elms holds an 11-4 series advantage over Castleton, but the Blazers and the Spartans have not met since the 2012-13 season, a 77-72 overtime win for Castleton at Glenbrook Gym.
After this weekend, the Spartans head to Plymouth, N.H., for the traditional Tuesday-before-Thanksgiving game against Plymouth State on Nov. 21 at 7:30 p.m.