CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University men's basketball team continues its season-opening stretch of five games in 11 days, first traveling to face Plymouth State Tuesday, Nov. 21, at 7:30 p.m. before coming back on Thanksgiving weekend to host Southern Vermont Saturday, Nov. 25, at 1 p.m.
The Spartans enter the week with a 1-2 overall record after splitting its games at the Hampton Inn Tournament in Dartmouth, Mass., this past weekend. Castleton defeated Curry College Friday evening, 101-74, to advance to the title game, but lost to the host UMass-Dartmouth Corsairs, 103-95, Saturday night.
Ben Mrowka was named to the All-Tournament Team after leading the Spartans with 20 points on 7-for-8 shooting from the field, including 6-for-7 from behind the three-point line. Mrowka leads Castleton in scoring with 12.3 points per game, while Pavin Parrish is contributing 11.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 2.0 steals per game. Jordan Nelson is adding 11.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.7 steals per contest.
As a team, Castleton is scoring 91.7 points per game and shooting 44.4 percent from the field, including 30.5 percent from behind the three-point line, and 64.1 percent from the free throw line. The Spartans' up-tempo style has forced their opponents into 24 turnovers per game so far this season.
Plymouth State is 2-0 so far this season, defeating Rivier in a neutral-site game last Wednesday, 87-69, before pulling out a 92-84 overtime victory at Norwich Saturday. As a team, the Panthers are shooting 45.5 percent from the field, including 38.6 percent from behind the three-point line, and 71.4 percent from the free throw line.
Jaylen Leroy led the Panthers against Rivier with 30 points, while Liam Densmore scored 20 points and Mike Osgood contributed 16 points, eight rebounds, five assists, three steals, and three blocked shots. Against the Cadets, Osgood finished with 25 points, eight rebounds, and four assists, while Leroy earned 24 points and five assists and Densmore added 17 points and four assists. Kieran Beck leads the team on the boards, averaging 12.0 rebounds per game.
This will be the 15th straight year in which Castleton and Plymouth State will play the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Overall, this is believed to be the 65th meeting all-time between the Spartans and the Panthers, with Plymouth State holding a 46-18 series advantage. Castleton won last year's game at Glenbrook Gym, 52-50, forcing a Plymouth State turnover in the final seconds of regulation. The Spartans are looking for their first win at Plymouth State since 2011.
Southern Vermont is also 2-0 heading into the week after victories over Keene State (73-67) and Johnson State (66-57). The Mountaineers will face Fitchburg State Tuesday night before coming to Castleton. As a team, Southern Vermont is shooting 39.4 percent from the field, including 48.1 percent from behind the three-point line, and 65.6 percent from the free throw line.
Tyler McLeod notched a double-double against Keene State with 18 points and 14 rebounds, as did Mike Pierre with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Andre Hodo finished with a double-double against Johnson State with 10 points and 10 rebounds as Pierre led the Mountaineers in scoring with 19 points.
This will be the 13th meeting all-time between Castleton and Southern Vermont, with the Mountaineers holding an 8-4 series advantage. The Spartans won for the first time at Southern Vermont last season, a 73-70 victory led by Chad Copeland with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
After this week, Castleton heads into North Atlantic Conference play at Johnson State next Tuesday, Nov. 28, at 7:30 p.m. The Spartans return to Glenbrook Gym Saturday, Dec. 2, to face New England College at 3 p.m.