The Spartans men’s basketball team continues to struggle losing to UMass-Dartmouth 87-60 on Dec. 7 at Tripp Athletic Center. They now have an overall record of 1-6, and a Little East Conference record of 0-2.
After losing a heartbreaker on Wednesday, Dec. 4 against Keene State at the buzzer 58-56, head coach Paul Culpo pointed to one thing that he wanted the team to get better at.
“We need to be more consistent in our effort. There’s been games that we’ve played that we just haven’t competed hard enough to win,” he said.
Culpo said that the team’s effort against Keene State was a step in the right direction.
But he put the blame on himself for why the team wasn’t able to pull out the win.
“I think that I need to do a better job of putting our guys in positions to be successful,” he said.
Culpo also said that the team didn’t take a shot for their final three possessions against Keene State.
After Saturday’s loss, members of the team were pointing at themselves and knew what the problem was.
“We came out flat, which made us fall behind in the first half,” said Igor Almeida, a junior forward.
After about the first six minutes of the game, the Spartans found themselves in a hole. The Corsairs of UMass-Dartmouth led 24-3 before Castleton was able to settle in.
The Spartans were able to create some offense and went on a 7-0 run to claw back into the game, but by halftime the score was 50-26.
Castleton woke up in the second half and were only outscored by three points, but their effort wasn’t enough to bounce all the way back.
Almeida said Culpo pointed out mistakes that were made in the locker room at halftime and that they weren’t going to go down without a fight.
“We were just trying to compete better and give us a chance to get back into the game,” he said.
Senior guard Demauriaye “Jimmy” Smith agreed with his teammate, saying that the team played much better in the second half.
“Just waking up and finally getting jump-started. It took us until the second half to start playing our way, which was too late when you get in a hole that deep to a good team like that,” he said.
Junior guard Terrin Roy led the Spartans with 19 points while coming off the bench, going 6-9 from the field and 4-6 from three-point range.
Almeida went a perfect 3-3 from the field in 15 minutes played, while Smith was able to secure four points, a steal, and four rebounds off the bench.
Culpo said that he has a young team to work with, and while he needs to put them in better positions to succeed, they also need to show up ready to play.
“The last time we played with any type of effort was the Johnson game, and obviously the next day we were just awful,” he said.
The Spartans return to action this Saturday, Dec. 14 when they travel to New York to take on SUNY Cobleskill at 2 p.m.