CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University men's basketball team heads to Maine for its final road trip of the 2017-18 regular season, as the Spartans face Thomas College Friday, Feb. 9, at 7:30 p.m. and Maine-Farmington Saturday, Feb. 10, at 3 p.m.
After losing to Colby-Sawyer Tuesday night, 73-70, Castleton (9-6) is now just a half-game ahead of Thomas (8-6) for fourth place in the North Atlantic Conference standings, an important position as it relates to home court advantage for the NAC Tournament quarterfinals. Maine-Farmington (7-7) enters the weekend in sixth place, one-and-a-half games behind the Spartans and one game in back of the Terriers.
Pavin Parrish scored a season-high 22 points Tuesday against the Chargers and is now averaging 11.3 points per game. Tondi Mushandu is contributing 10.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per contest, and Jordan Nelson is shooting 50 percent from the field as he is averaging 7.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game.
Thomas has won four of its last five games, including victories over Johnson State (81-59) and Lyndon (85-79) last weekend. As a team, the Terriers are scoring 72.1 points and allowing 72.7 points per game, plus they are shooting 45.9 percent from the field, including 33.7 percent from behind the three-point line, and 66.0 percent from the free throw line.
John Morgan leads the team in scoring at 12.8 points per game, while Carlos Gonzalez is averaging a double-double with 11.9 points and 10.5 rebounds per game, plus he is shooting 55.1 percent from the field and 75 percent from the free throw line. Zach Mackinnon is shooting 38.6 percent from behind the three-point line and 90 percent from the free throw line as he is scoring 11.5 points per game.
In the first meeting between Castleton and Thomas three weeks ago at Glenbrook Gym, the Spartans rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit to defeat the Terriers, 59-48. Parrish finished with 13 points, five rebounds, and four steals, Mushandu earned 12 points, seven rebounds, and five steals, and Richard Walker also collected 12 points and seven rebounds. Morgan led Thomas with 14 points, while Gonzalez added seven points and 12 rebounds.
Maine-Farmington is also on a roll, winning five of its last six games, including wins over Lyndon (106-98) and Johnson State (70-60) last weekend. As a team, the Beavers are scoring 72.2 points and allowing 76.5 points per game, plus they are shooting 44.5 percent from the field, including 35.5 percent from behind the three-point line, and 75.3 percent from the free throw line.
Riley Robinson is the leading scorer for UMF, averaging 15.6 points per game, while Milani Hicks is contributing 13.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Issac Witham is scoring 13.4 points per game thanks in part to his shooting 45.5 percent from behind the three-point line, and Bill Ruby is scoring 11.4 points per game.
Three weeks ago at Glenbrook Gym, Castleton rallied to defeat Maine-Farmington, 75-68. Parrish led the Spartans with 17 points, while Mushandu notched a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Nelson contributed 10 points, eight rebounds, six assists, two steals, and two blocked shots. All five starters for Maine-Farmington reached double figures in scoring, led by Hicks with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
After this weekend, Castleton closes out the regular season at home against Green Mountain next Saturday, Feb. 17, starting at 3 p.m.