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Struggles continue for men's basketball

By Tim Brosnan
On December 13, 2017

Junior guard Jordan Nelson drives to the basket in a game against Skidmore on Nov. 15. Photo by Olivia Maher. 

Castleton went 1-1 this weekend in back-to-back home games versus the Maine Maritime Mariners and the Husson Eagles. On Friday, Castleton defeated the Mariners 68-52 but fell to the Eagles 89-74 on Saturday.

Senior guard Pavin Parrish said they “played to their strengths” in the Maine Maritime game and executed much more.

“We had dips in our play against both teams but we definitely played harder against Maritime,” Parrish said. “Take nothing away from Husson, they’re a good team but we didn’t do what we needed to do to win against them.”

Castleton head coach Paul Culpo offered a similar point of view after the game.

“We turned the ball over too much against Husson, a lot more than we did on Friday. But that’s been an issue for us all year long,” he said.

Castleton’s struggles with consistent play have been apparent this season. No lead has been safe for The Spartans.

Last Saturday, after leading by as much as twenty-five points against New England College, they allowed the Pilgrims to tie the game early in the second half.

Castleton eventually won the game 92-85, but many would agree the game should not have been so close. They commanded an eighteen-point lead at the half and at one point were up by twenty-six against the Mariners

Castleton had Maritime struggling to advance the ball up court (zero fast-break points) but had no such trouble themselves, scoring eight points on the fast-break and 46 points in the paint.

But once again, they seemed to get a bit too comfortable toward the end of the second half, letting the game get within five points with five minutes to go.

They eventually stepped it up to finish with a sixteen-point victory, their second largest victory since week two against the Curry College Colonels.

The Spartans were competitive with the Eagles for the majority of the game.

From the very beginning, Castleton held an early lead. However, both teams rarely allowed a lead of more than two or three points. At the half, the Spartans trailed by just one point; 37-38.

Yet, halfway through the second half they began to let the game get away from them and eventually lost by fifteen points.

“To improve going forward we need more consistent team effort. We’ve shown stretches where we compete and play hard but we need to be consistent night in and night out,” Parrish said.

Culpo was less candid about things after the game on Saturday.

“To be honest, we’re not a very good team. We don’t defend with any purpose or intensity and we turn the ball over at an alarmingly high rate,” Culpo said. “When you do that, you’re going to be where we are.”

It is no secret that the 4-6 Spartans have underperformed expectations this season, but at times they have also shown potential.

They will look to get back on track and add another digit to their win column Wednesday in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts against the 4-5 Pine Manor College Gators.

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