Newton, MA – Steven Collins (Lynn, Mass.) and Louis Savage (Newark, N.J.) posted 14 points apiece leading five players in double figures as host Pine Manor posted a 75-63 victory over Castleton Wednesday night at Brunelli Court.
The Gators (6-5), who won their third straight to close the semester, led nearly wire-to-wire trailing only twice in the opening minutes. Keith Brown (Hartford, Conn.) posted 11 points for the winners while Jamel Hamans (Meriden, Conn.) and Nathan Serrano (Hartford, Conn.) added 10 points each. Joshua Gause (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) led PMC around the rim with eight boards.
Pavin Parrish led the Spartans (4-7) with a game-high 16 points. Jordan Nelson (14) and Nathaniel Kingsley (13) were the only others to reach double figures.
Pine Manor took control early using a 14-2 run midway through the opening stanza to build a 16-point advantage. The lead topped out at 19 following a Collins three-pointer for a 31-12 advantage with 3:20 left in the first. Hamans would drain three from downtown in the opening frame as the Gators took a 35-18 lead into the break.
The Spartans rallied early on in the second. Trailing by 17 (45-28) with 17:27 left, Parrish nailed back-to-back treys, Nelson followed with a three-point play, Kingsley converted in the paint, and later when Nelson drove inside, the lead had whittled down to just four (48-44), a 16-3 run that had covered just over four minutes.
But PMC had the answers. Brown followed with a three from the right corner and layups from both Brown and Savage helped push the advantage back to double digits at 57-46 with 11:21 to go.
Trailing by 10, the Spartans suffered a disastrous four minute stretch that allowed PMC to take control for good. Gator defenseive pressure helped lead to four Castleton turnovers on its next five possessions. An Everett three and Collins jumper during the star same stretch would push the lead to 15.
A Nelson floater made it 62-49 with seven minutes left, but Everett added another from downtown at the 6:33 mark and the lead swelled back to 20 over the final five minutes.
Pine Manor, which started a seven-game home stand with the victory, won't play game two of that stretch until Wednesday, January 10th when they host Colby at 5:00 p.m. The White Mules will be the first of four NESCAC programs to come to Brunelli in January along with Trinity, Middlebury and Bowdoin. The stretch also includes a pair of back-to-back meetings with SUNY-Canton.