CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University men's basketball team looks to get back on the winning track when it hosts North Atlantic Conference rival New England College Saturday, Dec. 2, at 3 p.m. at Glenbrook Gym.
The Spartans, 2-4 overall and 0-1 within the NAC, hope to snap a two-game losing streak after losing to Southern Vermont (101-84) last Saturday and at Johnson State (82-70) in the conference opener this past Tuesday. Castleton is averaging 100.5 points, 42.0 rebounds, and 15.5 steals per game in its two victories, but only 82.0 points, 33.3 rebounds, and 8.0 steals per game during its losses.
Sophomore Ben Mrowka continues to lead the team in scoring, averaging 14.2 points per game, thanks in large part to a conference-high 24 made three-pointers, currently 11th in the country. Pavin Parrish is averaging 10.8 points per game as he leads the NAC in both free throw attempts with 35 (48th in Division III) and free throws made with 28 (34th in Division III), plus he is third in the NAC with 4.3 assists per game.
New England College, playing its first conference game of the season, enters Saturday's game with a 4-2 overall record after an 88-78 victory over Norwich Wednesday night. As a team, the Pilgrims are scoring 86.8 points per game while allowing 75.7 points per contest, plus they are shooting 46.0 percent from the field, including 39.6 percent from behind the three-point line, and 69.6 percent from the free throw line.
Ricky Leonard leads the Pilgrims in scoring at 15.8 points per game as he is shooting 54.1 percent from the field, including 53.1 percent from behind the three-point line, and 85.7 percent from the free throw line. Izaiah Brooks-Winston is averaging 14.8 points per game as he is shooting 50.8 percent from the field and 78.8 percent from the free throw line. Jason Jones leads NEC in rebounding with 6.3 boards per game, and Calvin Cheek leads the team in assists at 4.3 assists per game.
This is believed to be the 52nd meeting all-time between Castleton and New England College, with the Spartans holding a 41-10 series advantage, including victories in 12 of the last 13 contests. Castleton swept the season series last year, starting with a 90-77 victory at Glenbrook Gym in which five Spartans reached double figures in scoring, led by Jordan Nelson with 22 points and Tondi Mushandu with 20 points. In the rematch in Henniker, N.H., Mushandu scored 18 points and Mrowka added 17 points in Castleton's 76-65 victory over the Pilgrims.
After Saturday's game, Castleton begins a busy week with a conference contest at Colby-Sawyer Tuesday, Dec. 5, followed by home games against Maine Maritime Friday, Dec. 8, and Husson Saturday, Dec. 9.