Courtesy Castleton Sports Information
CASTLETON – After a sluggish first half for both teams, Castleton University erupted for 28 points in the third quarter as the Spartans held on for a 69-58 victory over Thomas College Saturday afternoon in a North Atlantic Conference women’s basketball game at Glenbrook Gym.
For the second straight game, Makayla Farrara led everyone in scoring, finishing with 21 points along with five rebounds and two assists. Brooke Raiche hit two three-pointers as she scored 10 points off the bench, while Ashlie Fay collected nine points, seven rebounds, seven assists, four steals, and a blocked shot.
Castleton scored the first six points of the game, four of them by Taylor Raiche, and then put together an 8-2 scoring run over the final four minutes of the first quarter to extend its lead to 16-8 after one quarter. However, Thomas’s Amira Jones scored the first nine points of the second quarter, hitting two free throws with 6:13 left in the second quarter to give the Terriers a 17-16 lead.
That lead would be short-lived, as Emilee Bose hit a layup on Castleton’s next possession, starting an 11-3 Spartan run through the rest of the second quarter. Farrara hit a layup on the final possession of the first half to give Castleton a 27-20 lead at halftime.
The Spartans opened the third quarter with an 8-1 scoring run to extend their lead into double figures, but the Terriers responded with six unanswered points to close their deficit back to eight at 35-27. Castleton came right back with a 12-1 scoring run, with Fay scoring the first five points, and then three-pointers by Brooke Raiche and Farrara gave the Spartans a 55-37 advantage after the third quarter.
Castleton continued to execute on both ends of the court, scoring eight unanswered points early in the fourth quarter to establish its largest lead of the game at 63-39. Thomas fought back, outscoring the Spartans 17-2 over a four-and-a-half minute stretch to bring its deficit back into single digits, but Farrara went 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the final minute to close out the contest.
Jones finished with 15 points and nine rebounds for the Terriers, while Jordan Turner also scored 15 points to go along with eight rebounds and three assists. As a team, Thomas shot 31.5 percent (17-of-54) from the field, including 6-of-26 from behind the three-point line, and 75 percent (18-of-24) from the free throw line.
The Spartans shot 39 percent (23-of-59) from the field, including 4-of-14 from behind the three-point line, and 73.1 percent (19-of-26) from the free throw line. Castleton enjoyed a slight rebounding edge, 40-38, and scored 22 points off 19 Thomas turnovers.
Castleton (14-2, 10-0 NAC) hits the road next weekend, traveling to play Husson Friday, Jan. 26, at 5:30 p.m. and Maine Maritime Saturday, Jan. 27, at 1 p.m. The Spartans return to Glenbrook Gym Tuesday, Jan. 30, to face Lyndon starting at 5:30 p.m.