Spartans Hold On to Defeat Hornets, 56-55

Spartans Hold On to Defeat Hornets, 56-55

LYNDONVILLE, Vt. – After holding Lyndon State College scoreless for over eight minutes in the second half while taking the lead, Castleton University withstood a Hornet rally in the final seconds to earn a 56-55 victory Saturday afternoon in a North Atlantic Conference men's basketball game at Stannard Gymnasium.

After Pavin Parrish made a layup with 12:16 remaining in the second half to give Castleton a 44-42 lead, Lyndon scored seven unanswered points on a Corey Frost three-pointer and two baskets by Ricky Shuford to take the lead, 49-44, with 8:45 left in regulation. Taurian Archie started a 12-0 Spartan run with a steal and layup, one of seven turnovers committed by the Hornets during that stretch.

Tondi Mushandu would hit a layup to give the Spartans the lead at 50-49, and then he, along with Richard Walker and Parrish, would make two free throws apiece to extend the Castleton advantage to 56-49 with 1:23 remaining in regulation. After a minute without any scoring, Zach Knowlton hit a three-pointer to close the Hornet deficit to four at 56-52 with 21 seconds left on the clock.

Lyndon (1-9, 1-4 NAC) forced a tie-up and was awarded the ball on the alternating possession, and Darren Williams Jr. connected on a three-pointer to bring the Hornets within one. Castleton was able to inbound the ball, forcing Lyndon to commit a foul with four seconds remaining to stop the clock. Although both free throw attempts were missed, the Hornets could not put together an attempt to win the game on a last-second shot.

Tyler Arsenault was the only Spartan to reach double figures in scoring, finishing with a career-high 12 points. Mushandu collected eight points, seven rebounds, and five steals, with most of his production coming in the second half, while Parrish also scored eight points and Walker contributed six points and six rebounds off the bench.

Williams notched a double-double for the Hornets with 14 points and 10 rebounds, Shuford earned nine points and eight rebounds, and Jahleel Gabriel led all players with 15 rebounds and three blocked shots. As a team, Lyndon shot just 32.8 percent (20-of-61) from the field, including 9-of-36 from behind the three-point line, and 75 percent (6-of-8) from the free throw line.

The Spartans also struggled in the shooting department, hitting only 33.9 percent (21-of-62) of their field goal attempts, including 4-of-19 from behind the three-point line, and 47.6 percent (10-of-21) from the free throw line. Castleton did force Lyndon into 23 turnovers and outscored the Hornets in the paint, 34-18.

Castleton (5-7, 3-3 NAC) heads to Nashua, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 9, to face Rivier University in a 7 p.m. tipoff. The Spartans then return to Glenbrook Gym and host Johnson State next Saturday, Jan. 13, starting at 3 p.m.