CASTLETON,Vt.- The Northern Vermont University-Johnson men's basketball team won 72-71 in the remaining seconds of game against Castleton University on Monday night.
The Badgers had four players in double figures and were led by Winston Jones (Los Angeles, CA) with 19 points. Robert Dubose (Philadelphia, PA) added 16 points and six rebounds while Haji Haji (Burlington, Vt.) and Vernon Slater (Washington, D.C) both contributed 11 points.
In the first half of action the Badgers got in a rhythm from behind the arc. Eric Shaw started the game off with a layup for the Spartans but the Badgers and Jones quickly transitioned down the floor and knocked down his first of four three pointers for the half. Both teams traded baskets for the majority of the half. Jones and Dubose led the Badgers in the half with Jones scoring 12 points and Dubose scoring eight points. The Spartans were led by Eric Shaw with 18 points on 7-9 shooting from the field. One last Badger attempt before the break was unsuccessful and the Spartans took a 36-35 lead headed into halfway.
The Spartans came out in the second half with significant full court pressure. Haji drove into the lane and rose up for the first basket of the half. The Spartans transitioned and spread the floor as Casey Belade isolated his man for the Spartans first basket of the half. Throughout the second half both teams traded baskets. As the Spartans tried to speed up the game they had significant contributions from Casey Belade. With missed opportunities for the Badgers offensively and breakdowns on the defensive end the Spartans took a six-point lead with just four minutes left in the half. Lawson Ouellette (North Thetford, Vt.) made a big three to put the Badgers within three, but Denis Lecours came up big for the Spartans the next time down the floor earning the and 1 layup. Coming out of the media timeout Dubose got to the line and made one of his two free throws.
Continuously putting pressure on the Badgers for the remainder of the half, the Spartans led 71-69 with the ball in the hands of Vernon Slater as time winded down Slater rose up from behind the arc and knocked down the three to give the Badgers the 72-71-point victory.
Castleton outshot the Badgers in the game, going 32-of-65 49.2% from the field, while Johnson shot 24-of-55 43.6%. The Badgers made up the difference from deep, shooting a season-best 50.0% from downtown, making 14-of-28 three-point attempts.
The Badgers improve to 2-15 overall and are set to travel to SUNY Canton Friday, January 25 for a North Atlantic Conference match-up.