CASTLETON, Vt. – A late comeback attempt came up short on Saturday evening, as the Castleton University men's basketball team fell to UMass-Boston in Little East Conference action, 71-62, at Glenbrook Gymnasium.
The Spartans move to 3-17 overall and 0-11 in LEC play with the loss, while UMass-Boston sits at 10-9 overall and 5-6 against league opponents. Castleton shot 45.6 percent from the floor in the game, going 26-of-57, while UMass-Boston countered by going 26-of-54 from a 48.1 percent mark. Both sides made seven threes, while the difference in the contest came at the free throw line. UMass-Boston knocked down 12-of-16 free throw attempts, while Castleton was just 3-of-5 at the charity stripe. The rebounding battle was nearly even, 32-32 in favor of UMass-Boston, while both teams had at least 20 points off turnovers.
Casey Belade led the way for Castleton with 23 points on 10-of-20 shooting while hauling in five rebounds and registering three steals. Michael Morgan added 14 points off the bench, while Richard Walker returned to action for Castleton with nine points and six rebounds. Igor Almeida posted a line of six points, six assists and three rebounds, while Denis LeCours added six points and three steals for Castleton.
Four players reached double-digits for the Beacons, led by Alex Sanchez and Dasan Cinelli, each of whom had 19 points. Cinielli led the team with nine boards, while Sanchez dished out four assists. Michael Boyd had 10 points, five assists and five rebounds, while Charles Mitchell added 10 points off the bench.
The Beacons came out of the opening tip-off firing, knocking down four threes in the first four-plus minutes of action en route to a 15-5 lead. The advantage swelled to 12 points after a layup by Mitchell, but a 9-0 run brought the Spartans back within three points, 29-26. A layup by Almeida with 2:38 to play in the opening half tied the game, before the Beacons pushed the lead to three points once more. Castleton hung tight, as Walker knocked down a fast-break layup with time winding down in the half to send the Spartans into the locker room down just one, 35-34.
UMass-Boston came out of the locker room on a 5-0 run, but the Spartans countered with a 7-0 run of their own to take their first—and only—lead of the game, 42-40. Castleton kept it close through the middle of the second half, trailing by just two points at 54-52 before the Beacons rattled off eight unanswered points over a four-minute span to take a 62-52 lead with six minutes to play, putting the game out of reach as the two sides traded baskets until the final horn.
Castleton returns to action on Wednesday night with a Little East matchup against Rhode Island College. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.