WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The Castleton University men's basketball team wrapped up the first half of its schedule on Saturday afternoon, falling to the University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) by a final score of 65-55 in non-conference action.
The Blue Jays (6-3), coached by former University of Connecticut head coach Jim Calhoun, racked up 17 second-chance points and 16 points off Castleton turnovers in the win, while Castleton (3-7) managed just four second-chance points and 11 points off USJ turnovers. The Spartans outshot the Blue Jays, shooting 38.2 percent (21-of-55) from the floor, though USJ converted on 12-of-18 free throws while Castleton cashed in on just 8-of-13 attempts at the line.
Tank Roberson led the way offensively with 14 points on 7-of-12 shooting, while Casey Belade totaled 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting, including a trio of threes. Calvin Carter rounded out Castleton's double-digit scorers with 10 points and came up a rebound shy of a double-double with nine boards. Eli Lombardi added nine rebounds as well in his first start of the season.
Mike Sagay led USJ in scoring with 16 points in 28 minutes off the bench, going 8-of-15 from the field. Delshawn Jackson Jr. added 14 points for the Blue Jays, while Chris Childs chipped in with 11 points. Noreaga Davis had nine points and a team-high 10 rebounds for USJ.
Castleton jumped out to a quick lead in the contest, holding a 12-4 edge less than five minutes into the contest. The Blue Jays later used a seven-point run to pull within one, 14-13, before taking their first lead of the contest with less than 10 minutes to play in the first half, 18-16, on a three from Brad Landry. The two sides traded blows the remainder of the half, heading into the locker room with Castleton trailing by just one point, 33-32.
A layup from Roberson with 14:14 to play in the second half gave Castleton a one-point lead, 40-39, but it would be the last time the Spartans held an edge as USJ rattled off a 7-0 run to take a 46-40 lead with less than nine minutes to play. The lead stretched to 15 points following a 12-2 run by the Blue Jays, making it 58-43 with just more than four minutes remaining. Castleton narrowed the gap slightly, but were unable to complete a comeback, falling by a final of 65-55.
The Spartans return to the hardwood on December 30 when they hit the road to take on Sage at 1 p.m.