Skevas scores 30 but Panther rally falls short
CASTLETON, Vt. – The Plymouth State University men's basketball team rallied from a 15-point deficit to pull to within four points Tuesday evening, but host Castleton State College held on for a 95-89 win over the visiting Panthers in a non-conference match-up at Glenbrook Gymnasium.
The Spartans went on a 15-2 run, spanning the conclusion of the first half and the beginning of the second to turn an 11-point deficit into a one-point lead. They wouldn't relinquish the lead again as they improve to 1-1 on the season, while Plymouth State falls to 1-2.
Senior Mark Comstock had a strong all-around performance for Castleton with 20 points, eight rebounds, six assists, two steals and zero turnovers. Sophomore Chris Barletta joined him in double figures with 12 points and added a team-high seven assists and three rebounds.
Junior Petey Skevas finished with a game-high 30 points for PSU and added four assists. Sophomore Alex Burt and junior Mark MacGregor joined him in double figures with 19 and 10 points respectively. Plymouth State shot 47.1 percent from the field, including an impressive 11-for-16 performance from Skevas.
Both teams struggled to shoot early, with the score knotted at 9-9 at the 13:46 mark. The Panthers scored four straight to take the lead and then extended their advantage to 24-15 with 9:19 left in the half. The Spartans managed to cut the deficit to four, 26-22, with 6:40 left; however, a 12-2 run by PSU pushed the lead to 38-24 with just 2:57 remaining. Trailing by 12, 41-29, at the two-minute mark, Castleton scored the last nine points of the half to go into the break down just 41-38.
Senior Dammy Mustapha tied the game just eight seconds into the second half on a triple from the top of the key. The Spartans pushed the lead as high as 14, 62-48, at the 13:02 mark, but Plymouth State wouldn't go away, despite another Castleton run in the final eight minutes. The Panthers eventually clawed back from a 15-point deficit with 6:28 left with pull within four, 85-81, on a jumper by Skevas with 2:36 remaining.
Logan White responded with a three from the corner off a nice Barletta pass to push the margin to seven. The Panthers were forced to try and foul their way back into the game during the final 90 seconds; however, Castleton made enough free throws to finish with the six-point victory.
Castleton returns to action on Monday, Nov. 26 at 7 pm when the Spartans travel to Skidmore. The Panthers will play next Tuesday against Rivier College in the Boys & Girls Club Classic in Concord, N.H., hosted by NHTI.
(Courtesy of Castleton Sports Information)
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