CASTLETON, Vt. - The top-seeded Spartans were held to a season-low 67 points, but tightened up the defense and finished with a 67-43 victory over No. 8 seed Lyndon St. in the quarterfinal round of the North Atlantic Conference playoff at Glenbrook Gym.
The Hornets took the air of the ball early, stalling to the end of the shot clock on multiple occasions, however, Castleton slowly but surely expanded the lead to finish with the 24-point win. The Spartans improve to 17-9 overall and advance to the North Atlantic Conference semifinals on Friday. The loss marks the end of the season for Lyndon and the team finishes with a 6-20 record for the year.
Logan White was the Castleton's top shooter on the evening, going 6-for-8 from the field, including three triples, for a game-high 17 points. He also added four rebounds and three steals. Mark Comstock joined him in double figures with 12 points, and added four steals. Keith Schneider was the only other Spartan in double figures as he chipped in with 11 points and six rebounds.
Devyn Baranauskas (Waterbury, Conn.) was the only Hornet in double figures with ten points. Justin Winston (Washington, D.C.) came off the bench to contribute with nine points, seven rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.
The Spartans jumped out to a 7-0 lead at the 16:48 mark on a triple by Mark Pryzbylkowski. Five straight by the Hornets cut the lead to two, before another 7-0 run pushed the Castleton lead to 14-5 with 12:50 remaining in the first half.
Lyndon kept the Spartans scoreless over the next four and a half minutes, though the Hornets were only able to narrow the game to 14-9 over that span. Comstock broke the scoring drought at the 8:12 mark and helped push the Castleton lead to 25-18 over the next four minutes. The Spartans went on another 7-0 run over the final four minutes, giving up a layup with two seconds left for the 32-20 halftime score.
Comstock hit a pair of free throws to open the second half, but Castleton couldn't shake the Hornets and they trailed by just 12, 5:04 into the second half. Just over a minute later, Jason Gray (East Thetford, Vt.) drilled a shot from downtown to cut the lead to 42-33. Neither team scored again until the 11:25 mark, when Schneider hit a pair of free throws to give the Spartans an 11-point lead.
The free throws jump-started an 18-2 run over the next 5:20, pushing the Castleton advantage to 60-35 on a three by White with just 6:03 left. Out of danger, the Spartans traded baskets with the Hornets over the final six minutes on their way to the 24-point victory.