HENNIKER, N.H. – Castleton University saw its three-game winning streak snapped, as New England College used a significant scoring run in the first half to defeat the Spartans, 83-58, Tuesday night in a North Atlantic Conference men's basketball game at Bridges Gym.
New England College (11-4, 7-1 NAC) was hot right from the start, opening the game with four three-pointers, three of them by Izaiah Winston-Brooks, in the first two-and-a-half minutes to open a 12-2 advantage. Castleton fought back, as Pavin Parrish scored eight unanswered points, featuring two three-pointers of his own, to close the Spartan deficit to two at 12-10 five minutes into the game.
The Pilgrims went on a 9-2 scoring run to extend their lead back to nine at 21-12, but the Spartans struck back, cutting their deficit to six at 23-17 on a traditional three-point play by Josh Hanson. However, Castleton stopped making shots, going 10 minutes without a point while New England College closed the first half on a 26-2 scoring run to take a 52-21 halftime lead.
A layup by Julian Santos five minutes into the second half closed a 6-0 Castleton scoring run, but Ricky Leonard stopped the run with a three-pointer, one of 17 three-pointers the Pilgrims made during the game. In total, New England College hit 47.2 percent (17-of-36) of its three-point attempts and 87.5 percent (14-of-16) of its free throw attempts.
Nobody reached double figures in scoring for the Spartans, as Parrish scored eight points, as did Eli Lombardi on 4-of-4 field goal shooting. Hanson led Castleton with six rebounds as the Spartans won the rebounding battle, 42-39.
Winston-Brooks led the Pilgrims with 16 points, followed closely by Leonard with 14 points. Calvin Cheek stuffed the stat sheet with eight points, four rebounds, seven assists, and five steals, part of the 21 Castleton turnovers that resulted in 26 points for New England College.
Castleton (7-8, 4-4 NAC) hosts Maine-Farmington Friday, Jan. 19, at 7:30 p.m. The Spartans then welcome Thomas College to Glenbrook Gym Saturday, Jan. 20, for a 3 p.m. tipoff.