POULTNEY, Vt. – Alex Sanchez (San Fernando Valley, Calif.) had a stellar performance from beyond the arc, but it was not enough to push Green Mountain College to victory as the Eagles fell, 60-47, to Castleton University in North Atlantic Conference (NAC) men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at the Eagle Dome.
Green Mountain (7-12, 5-9 NAC) held its lone lead of the game when De Shaun Carr (Moreno Valley, Calif.) drove baseline for a reverse layup for the first basket of the opening half.
Castleton (12-9, 9-5 NAC) proceeded to score the next nine points capped by a three-pointer from Pavin Parish to establish a lead that would never again be relinquished.
After Jacob Plum (Temecula, Calif.) scored on a layup to bring the Eagles to within 9-7, the Spartans reeled off a 10-point run punctuated by a Julian Santos triple to increase its lead to 19-7 at the 11:45 mark forcing GMC into a timeout.
Sanchez connected on one of his five three-pointers at the 8:01 mark to cut the deficit to 21-14, but the Spartans rebuilt their lead back to double digits and only another 3-point make by Sanchez just before halftime reduced the deficit to 35-26 entering the break.
GMC chipped away at the deficit through the first nine minutes of the second half and the Eagles capped a mini-run with a steal that led to a breakaway layup by Diante Warner (Albany, N.Y.) to get within three points at 39-36 with 11:47 to play.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Santos and Tondi Mushandu within the span of a minute helped re-establish a double-digit lead for the Spartans as they pulled ahead 50-38 at the 8:49 mark.
The Eagles could not generate any more runs through the close of the period to threaten the visitors' lead and the Spartans ran time off the clock to ensure the win.
The Spartans were led offensively by Santos who recorded 18 points thanks to a 4-of-6 line from beyond the arc. Richard Walker joined Santos off the bench for eight points while Mushandu and Parish led the starters with seven points each with Mushandu hauling in a team-high nine rebounds.
The Eagles' offense was buoyed by Sanchez who totaled a game-high 19 points on 5-of-12 from deep to go with his six rebounds. Sean Leflore (Moreno Valley, Calif.) contributed seven points to go with a game-high 12 rebounds while Matt Hess (Rising Sun, Md.) also grabbed double-figure rebounds (10) to go with four points. Plum led the Eagle reserves with six points and five boards.
Green Mountain shot just 29 percent from the field while Castleton hit at a 40 percent clip. The Spartans shined from beyond the arc, making 10-of-18 (55%) of its attempts compared to the Eagles who struggled from the outside making just 6-of-28 (21.4 %). The Eagles did hold a distinct advantage on the boards outrebounding the visitors 47-35, but could not generate much production from its bench which scored 13 points compared to 34 from the Castleton reserves.
Green Mountain will remain at home as it next hosts NEC on Tuesday night to conclude the teams' two-game season series. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.