The men’s basketball team wrapped up its first semester of play with back-to-back wins this weekend, defeating Husson University and Maine Maritime.
The Spartans defeated Husson 97-96 on Dec. 9. The victory ended a 13-game losing streak to Husson and marked the first victory against Husson since Castleton joined the North Atlantic Conference back in 2003.
In the final seconds of play, the Spartans lead 97-93. Husson scored a three-point shot with just two seconds remaining to bring the game within one point. Mark Comstock was fouled immediately, but missed both free throws. With 1.5 seconds remaining, the Eagles threw the ball to midcourt, but Comstock knocked it away to give Castleton the win.
Castleton had four players in double figures. Comstock and Greg Hughes each had 20 points, Matt Cooney had 12 points off the bench and Keith Schneider chipped in 10.
Although the Spartans came out victorious, coach Paul Culpo wasn’t satisfied with his team’s performance.
“I don’t think we played particularly well,” Culpo said. “We were fortunate to win.”
On Dec. 11, the Spartans defeated Maine-Maritime 85-52. Castleton had a big second half, holding the Mariners to 20 second-half points while causing 25 turnovers.
The Spartans were balanced in scoring as 12 out of the 14 players who saw action scored. Hughes led the team with 17 points and Cooney finished with 14 points, shooting 5-6 from the floor. Comstock had 13 points and pulled down seven rebounds while Schneider and Dammy Mustapha each added eight.
With the first semester coming to a close, Culpo said his team has a long way to go. He said the team has to improve, most importantly, on its defense and shooting.
“We need to develop more depth and start getting more production from other people,” Culpo said.
With the victories, Castleton improves to 3-1 in the NAC and 4-4 overall. The Spartans will return to action on Jan. 2 against Williams.