CASTLETON, Vt. – Lyndon turned in a game effort, but it was not enough to prevent an 88-80 overtime loss to arch-rival Castleton Wednesday in the North Atlantic Conference opener for both squads.
Lyndon's David Johnson (Washington, D.C.) single-handedly forced overtime, but in the extra session several Spartans stepped up to make big plays as they held on for the eight-point victory.
With his Lyndon team trailing by four and the final seconds ticking away, Johnson drove to the hole and drew a foul on an attempted charge. The senior made the first free throw to cut the deficit to 74-71. He missed the second intentionally, Dawada Jallow (Allen, Texas) snatched the rebound and then found Johnson, who had sprinted to the corner. He the three-pointer fly as he faded away and found nothing but net, tying the game 74-74 with just 4.0 seconds left.
An inbound to midcourt by Castleton failed and the Hornets were able to get up a shot before the buzzer sounded but it clanged off the rim. In the extra session, Carnelius Green scored on a drive to the hoop while being fouled on team's first possession. He hit the free throw and after a Lyndon turnover Rob Coloutti drilled his sixth three of the game for the 80-74 advantage with 4:16 left.
The Hornets couldn't get any closer than three points in the final four minutes as the Spartans went 2-for-2 from the field and made four free throws to clinch it 88-80.
Castleton never trailed in Wednesday's game and was helped by the fact they shot 48.0 percent from the floor in the contest and 9-for-20 from beyond the arc. However, they did give up 19 offensive rebounds and commit 22 turnovers. Lyndon shot just 32.6 percent from the floor and 28.6 from downtown, but attempted 36 more shots in the contest.
Rob Coloutti poured in a career-high 26 points, making a personal-best six triples while also grabbing seven boards and going 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Chad Copeland added 14 points and nine rebounds before fouling out on a charge call in overtime. Green pulled down a team-high 15 rebounds while scoring ten points, dishing off four assists and recording two blocks. Tondi Mushandu was also solid with seven points, six rebounds, four assists and a block.
Johnson led the Hornets with 25 points, but needed 33 total attempts to get there, including a 4-for-18 performance from downtown. He did added seven assists, six rebounds and two steals while playing all 45 minutes. Robert Alers (Central Falls, R.I.) was also in double figures with 13 points, 10 rebounds and two steals while Robert Rouelle (St. Johnsbury, Vt.) added 12 points and two steals.
Castleton scored the first nine points of the game over the opening 4:28 and eventually pushed the lead to 19-2 on back-to-back threes from Casey McGraw and Coloutti with 12:29 left. Lyndon cut the lead to nine, with 7:42 left, but Tyler Arsenault used an old-fashioned three-point play to push it back to 11 points. With less than five minutes remaining in the half, the Hornets went on a 10-4 run to pull within seven, 36-29. The two teams traded baskets over the final 2:30 with a late three from Coloutti giving Castleton a 41-34 lead at the break.
The teams traded points to open the second half, before back-to-back Johnson threes cut the deficit to 47-42 with 16:15 left. The Spartans pushed the lead back to eight, seconds later and Lyndon didn't get any closer until a three from Rouelle trimmed it to 60-56 at 8:33. A 7-0 Castleton spurt made it an 11-point game but an 11-3 run by the Hornets pulled them within three, 70-67, with just 3:18 remaining. Neither team scored again until Alers connected on a triple with just 1:36 left to tie the game.
Castleton played strong defense and made 3-of-4 free throws for a 73-70 lead with only 37 seconds remaining. After rebounding another Johnson miss, Copeland was fouled and went to the line with 17 seconds on the clock. He made the first and missed the second for the four-point lead. Lyndon got the ball and set up its final play of regulation for Johnson, who came through in a huge way.
Pavin Parrish chipped in with nine points, four rebounds and three assists while McGraw finished with eight points and two rebounds, both of which came in the final 3:19 of overtime.
The Hornets return to action on Friday when they host Thomas College at 7:30 pm.