CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University men's basketball team returns to Glenbrook Gym this weekend for its final two home games before the winter break, hosting Maine Maritime Friday, Dec. 8, at 7:30 p.m. and Husson Saturday, Dec. 9, at 3 p.m.
The Spartans fell to 3-5 overall and 1-2 within the NAC after losing to Colby-Sawyer Tuesday night, 71-69, on two Charger free throws with 1.1 seconds left in regulation. Castleton held the lead through much of the second half before Colby-Sawyer completed one last rally in the final minutes of the contest.
Tondi Mushandu has led the team over the past three games, averaging 16.3 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. Fellow senior Pavin Parrish, the only Spartan to start all eight games for the team, has been the squad's most consistent player, scoring between 10 and 13 points in all but one game so far this year, culminating with a season-high 13 points against Colby-Sawyer Tuesday.
Maine Maritime is still looking for its first victory of the season, bringing a 0-6 overall record, including a 0-2 mark within the league, into Friday's game. The Mariners have been close on a few occasions, going to overtime twice and losing to Maine-Farmington by just two points, but Maine Maritime is coming off a 90-57 loss at Husson last Saturday.
As a team, the Mariners are scoring 68.7 points and allowing 79.3 points per game, plus they are shooting 40.2 percent from the field, including 29.7 percent from behind the three-point line, and 72.4 percent from the free throw line. Adam Richardson leads the team, averaging 15.7 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game while shooting 57.9 percent from the field and 75.7 percent from the charity stripe.
Castleton swept the season series from Maine Maritime last season, starting with an 86-76 victory at Glenbrook Gym as six Spartans scored in double figures, led by Chad Copeland with 17 points and Mushandu with 15 points and 10 rebounds. The rematch in Castine, Maine, went to overtime, with Copeland scoring 30 points to lead Castleton to a 74-69 victory.
Husson enters the weekend tied with Colby-Sawyer atop the NAC standings with a 2-0 league mark as part of a 4-1 overall record. The Eagles suffered their first loss of the season at Bates, 88-74, Tuesday. As a team, Husson is scoring 80.0 points and allowing 69.8 points per game while shooting 42.0 percent from the field, including 35.8 percent from behind the three-point line, and 69.9 percent from the free throw line.
Raheem Anderson, the 2016-17 NAC Player of the Year, leads the Eagles with 22.6 points and 4.0 assists per game, while Kyanti Blyden has come off the bench in the last three games and contributed 12.3 points per contest. Justin Martin is averaging 11.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 4.0 blocks per game.
Husson swept the season series from Castleton last season, starting with a thrilling 77-71 overtime win at Glenbrook Gym led by Anderson's 35 points, including a 15-for-16 performance from the free throw line. Copeland scored 31 points for the Spartans. The Eagles controlled the rematch in Bangor, Maine, 85-59, with Anderson scoring 24 points while Parrish finished with 20 points for Castleton.
After this weekend's games, Castleton will close out the 2017 portion of its schedule at Pine Manor next Wednesday, Dec. 13, starting at 6 p.m.