Spartans Hold Off Late Rally For Conference Victory

Spartans Hold Off Late Rally For Conference Victory

CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University men's basketball team jumped out to a significant lead, but Maine Maritime Academy rallied back late in the second half, closing to within five before the Spartans finally put the Mariners away, 68-52, Friday night in a North Atlantic Conference contest at Glenbrook Gym.

Tondi Mushandu notched his third double-double in the last four games, leading all players with 19 points and 11 rebounds, shooting 8-for-10 from the field, plus he dished out four assists. Pavin Parrish scored a season-high 16 points, Nathaniel Kingsley contributed 12 points, and Jordan Nelson finished with seven points, five rebounds, seven assists, and six steals.

Castleton scored the first eight points of the game and then put together a 9-1 scoring run to jump out to a 21-5 lead with 11:44 remaining in the first half. Maine Maritime scored the next five points, but the Spartans responded with a 15-4 run, taking a 38-18 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Spartans opened the second half with an 8-2 scoring stretch, as a traditional three-point play by Mushandu extended the Castleton advantage to 46-20 two minutes into the second half.

Maine Maritime (0-7, 0-3 NAC) started chipping away at its deficit, first going on an 8-1 scoring run to close to within 18 at 49-31. After a layup by Mushandu with nine minutes left in regulation, the Mariners received two three-pointers each from Nicholas DePatsy and Nick Judge as part of a 14-2 scoring run to cut the Spartan lead to five at 57-52 with 5:31 remaining in the second half.

The Spartans settled down on both ends of the floor, holding Maine Maritime scoreless the rest of the way while collecting 11 points down the stretch. The Mariners missed seven shots and committed four turnovers as they ran out of gas in the final minutes of the contest.

Judge led the Mariners with 13 points, while DePatsy scored 11 points, as did Adam Richardson to go along with eight rebounds. As a team, Maine Maritime shot 37.3 percent from the field (19-for-51), including 6-for-12 from behind the three-point line in the second half, and 43.8 percent (7-for-16) from the free throw line.

The Spartans produced their best shooting performance since the UMass-Dartmouth game Nov. 18, hitting 48.2 percent (27-for-56) of their field goal attempts, but just 55 percent (11-for-20) of their free throw chances. Castleton won the rebounding battle, 40-31, and scored 20 points off 16 Mariner turnovers while committing only 11 turnovers, the fewest in a single game this season. 

Castleton (4-5, 2-2 NAC) hosts Husson Saturday, Dec. 9, at 3 p.m. at Glenbrook Gym. Maine Maritime heads to Poultney, Vt., to face Green Mountain.