Spartan Men’s Hoop Opens NAC Play at Johnson State Tuesday

Spartan Men’s Hoop Opens NAC Play at Johnson State Tuesday

CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University men's basketball team opens its North Atlantic Conference schedule Tuesday, Nov. 28, against Johnson State in Carter Gym.

The Spartans enter a stretch of five straight conference games with a 2-3 overall record after losing to Southern Vermont Saturday afternoon, 101-84. As a team, Castleton is scoring 91.8 points per game and shooting 43.2 percent from the field, including 31.7 percent from behind the three-point line, and 67.4 percent from the free throw line.

Sophomore Ben Mrowka leads Castleton in scoring at 15.2 points per game, hitting 53.8 percent of his three-point shot attempts, second in the NAC. Pavin Parrish has reached double figures in scoring in every game so far this season, averaging 11.6 points per game along with 3.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 2.6 steals per contest.

Johnson State enters Tuesday's game with a 1-2 overall record, starting the year with a 79-63 win over St. Joseph's (Vt.) before losses to Southern Vermont (66-57) and nationally-ranked Middlebury (84-77) in its last game one week ago. The game against the Spartans will conclude a season-opening four-game homestand for the Badgers as well as a stretch of four straight contests against Vermont-based opponents.

As a team, the Badgers are scoring 71.0 points per game and shooting 44.9 percent from the field, including 35.6 percent from behind the three-point line, and 47.8 percent from the free throw line. Marqwon Wynn was named NAC Player of the Week earlier Monday after scoring 29 points on 13-for-19 shooting from the field against Middlebury, the most points scored by an individual player against the Panthers over the past two seasons.

In a series believed to date back to the 1958-59 season, this will be the 113th meeting all-time between Castleton and Johnson State, with the Spartans holding an 81-31 series advantage. The teams split two games last year, with each team winning on the other squad's home floor.

The Spartans defeated the Badgers in Johnson, Vt., on Dec. 8, 2016, 79-67, behind Chad Copeland's double-double of 30 points and 10 rebounds. In the regular season finale on Feb. 18, 2017, at Glenbrook Gym, Johnson State earned a 75-63 win thanks to a 30-point performance by Kawaun Chavis.

After Tuesday's game, Castleton hosts New England College Saturday, Dec. 2, at Glenbrook Gym starting at 3 p.m.