BARRE, Vt.-The Northern Vermont University-Johnson tipped off the 2019 Granite City Shootout in a non-conference game against in state rival Castleton University. The Badgers dropped the opening game by a score of 53-48.
NVU-Johnson started off strong controlling the pace of play. In the opening possession it was Tyhee Taylor with the first basket of the contest. The Badgers tallied a 12-2 run off baskets from Zach Shedd, Jaymes Savage and Kiyl Mack.
The Spartans composure allowed for a 16-5 run to take their first lead of the game at the 5:41 mark. The Spartans began to control the flow of the game as their defense turned the Badgers over and headed into the half leading 30-19.
In the second half the Badgers had a strong performance from Braxton Benvenuti who tallied a team high 3-4 from behind the arc for nine points. The Badger trailed by eight with only 1:18 to go and Benvenuti drained back to back threes but it wasn't enough as the Badgers fell in regulation by a score of 53-48.
The Badgers won the turnover battle forcing 22 Castleton turnovers and only giving the ball back 20 times.
Men's basketball will face Vermont Technical College at 6:00pm in the finale of the Granite City Shootout on Saturday. This will be the second time these teams have faced this season. In their first contest the Badgers took the win by a score of 95-87.