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Spartans Squeak by Hornets

Spartans Squeak by Hornets

LYNDON CENTER, Vt. – The Lyndon State College men's basketball team lost a nail-biter, 69-68, to North Atlantic Conference foe Castleton University Thursday night in Stannard Gymnasium.

The Hornets (10-13, 9-8 NAC) were led by senior Josiah Woodruff (Washington, D.C.) with 17 points, five rebounds, and three assists.  Charles Correa Jr. (Prospect Heights, R.I.) knocked down five triples to finish with 15 points while Corey Frost (Hamden, Conn.) shot 4-for-5 from behind the arc to record 12 points off the bench.

The Spartans (16-7, 11-6 NAC) received 18 points, three assists, and four steals from Jordan Nelson.  Chad Copeland followed with a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds while Tondi Mushandu added 12 points.

Three shots from downtown helped the Hornets jump out to a 9-4 lead just three minutes into the game.  The Spartans tightened the gap to 12-10 with 11:45 on the clock but an 8-0 run, featuring two treys from Frost, forced a Castleton timeout.

The Spartans burst out a 12-0 run following the timeout to grab a 22-20 lead with six minutes left in the half.  After trading leads again, a three from Lyndon's Eric Vargas (Lowell, Mass.) knotted the score at 28-28.  However, the Spartans outscored the Hornets 7-5 to close out the half with the 35-33 advantage.

In the second half, Castleton hung to a slim lead until Frost hit one from downtown to tie the game up at 49-49 with 11:42 on the clock.  Five straight points from Castleton were answered with two treys to give Lyndon their first lead since the first half at 55-54.  Castleton scored two buckets but a trey from Woodruff tied it up at 58-58.

After trading baskets, the score was tied again, 60-60, with 6:07 remaining.  The Spartans then grabbed a slim lead but couldn't pull away as Xavier Colbert (Manassas, Va.) was fouled down low.  Colbert hit both free ones for the Hornets to bring them within one at 69-68.  

Both teams went on to miss layups on their next possessions, but with 48 seconds to play, Vargas stole the ball from Nelson and passed ahead to Colbert.  Colbert Euro stepped Nelson and laid the ball in as the whistle blew.  Nelson was called for the foul on the floor, waving off the basket, and Colbert was sent to the line for a one-and-one opportunity.  Colbert missed the front end and The Spartans grabbed the rebound.

Castleton missed the front end of two one-and-ones, giving Lyndon a final chance.  After a timeout, Lyndon worked to get the ball inside but turned the ball over, falling by a final score of 69-68.

The Hornets travel to Green Mountain College on Saturday to wrap up conference play at 1:00 p.m.

The Spartans host Johnson State College at the same date and time.