CASTLETON, Vt. - Johnson State College could not overcome a slow opening five minutes at Castleton State College on Tuesday night as the Badgers fell 104-87 in North Atlantic Conference (NAC) men's basketball action at Glenbrook Gymnasium. Johnson stands at 5-18, 5-11 NAC while Castleton sits at 15-8, 14-2 NAC.
Johnson junior point guard Andy Bousono (Philadelphia, Penn./Nueva Esperanza) (pictured) led the Badgers with a game-high 25 points to go with seven assists while shooting 10-17 from the field and 3-5 from 3-point range. Sophomore's Bryan Hickey (Barre, Vt./Spaulding) and Scott Moran (Amity, Conn./Orange) added 15 and 13 points respectively. Hickey collected a game-high eight rebounds on the evening. Senior forward Alen Turan (Essex, Vt./Essex) also supplied 10 points for JSC.
Castleton was led by junior forward Mark Comstock who not only scored 20 points but surpassed the 1,000 career-point milestone during the game. Senior Keith Schneider scored a career-best 17 points and senior guard Greg Hughes hit five 3-pointers en route to a 15-point night.
While Castleton would force 27 JSC turnovers, Johnson would force 28 turnovers to match the defensive effort. The Spartans 20 offensive rebounds and decisive 49-33 rebound advantage overall was a big key in the decision.
The Spartans jumped on Johnson to the tune of 14-0 with 15:39 remaining in the first half. A lay-up by sophomore guard Lester Alexander (Burlington, Vt./Burlington) got the Badgers on the board and a lay up Turan would cut the lead to 22-16 with 10:18 left in the stanza.
With score standing at 31-23 Castleton would go on a 17-4 surge and take an eventual 57-41 lead into the locker room.
Johnson would cut the lead to 14 early in the second half but that would be as close at the Badgers would get as the teams played to the 104-87 final.
JSC will wrap up their regular-season schedule with a set of games this weekend at Husson University and Maine Maritime Academy respectively. With a Green Mountain College loss on Tuesday Johnson has hopes of reaching the #6 seed for the NAC tournament but could also finish at #7 or #8 depending on weekend outcomes. Castleton, currently in first-place by half a game will finish their regular-season with a home contest on Thursday versus New England College then on the road Saturday at Colby-Sawyer College.