The Men’s Basketball team went into halftime with a 23-point lead, and survived a second-half run from Lyndon State College and walked away with an 85-62 North Atlantic Conference win on Saturday Jan. 29 at Glenbrook Gym.Castleton had five players score in double figures, including three players off the bench. Jared Paul led the Spartans with 16 points and pulled down eight rebounds.
David Cochrane and Kevin Eisenberg added 12 points apiece while Mark Comstock and Kyle Bennett chipped in 10 and 11.
Castleton took the lead early just a little over a minute into the game and never surrendered it for the remainder of the contest.
The Spartans led 19-13 halfway through the first half and then scored 11 straight points, with the help from a pair of 3s from Eisenberg, pushing their lead 30-13.
The Spartans went into halftime with a 46-23 lead and shot 65 percent from the floor.
Just minutes into the second half Lyndon trailed by 21 points. A 3-pointer from Lyndon’s Logan Calkins would fuel a run and the Hornets scored 12 straight points cutting the Spartans lead down to nine. But Castleton answered back with a 6-0 run pushing its lead back to double digits and never relinquished the lead for the remainder of the game.
Castleton has won its last four games its played and although head coach Paul Culpo was satisfied with his teams efforts he still thinks there is room to improve for the Spartans.
“I think it’s the best we’ve played but I don’t know if it’s the best we can play,” Culpo said.
Going into conference play the Spartans were struggling and had a 4-6 record, but now are top contenders in the conference, with a record of 5-1 and have won six out of their last seven games.
“We’ve made some progress. We are definitely looking better than we did two weeks ago,” Culpo said.
He said the team’s recent success comes from peoples’ roles becoming more clearly defined and the recent lineup change he made where the Spartans two top shooters, Paul and Eisenberg, come off the bench.
Castleton’s bench outscored the Hornets bench 47-16 and Culpo pointed out the importance of having depth on the team.
“The bench has been huge. Without them we don’t win,” he said.
With playoffs just around the corner, Culpo is very optimistic and confident with his team but with the end of the road still far in front of them Culpo is just taking one game at a time.
“We just got to keep fresh. Were only halfway through our conference schedule so it’s a long way to go,” he said.
With the win, the Spartans improve to 10-7 overall and 5-1 in conference play. Castleton will travel to Thomas and Maine-Farmington this weekend for conference action.