Women’s Hoop: Norwich Edges Castleton 53-51

Courtesy Norrwich Sports Information

CASTLETON – Junior forward Heather LeBlanc (Sanford, Maine) received an inbound pass from sophomore guard Shyann Josler (Thetford, Vt.) before sinking in the game-winning layup with just 0.5 seconds remaining to lift the Norwich University women’s basketball team over Castleton University, 53-51, Saturday afternoon.

LeBlanc finished the day with 13 points and nine rebounds, while Josler posted nine points, all from beyond the arc. Sophomore guard Arianna Harrison (Vernon, Vt.) added 10 points, six rebounds and three assists, while newcomer Emily Oliver (Sagamore Hills, Ohio) contributed eight points and five rebounds in the win.

Castleton (8-2) started the game with a 9-1 run in the first four minutes of the game before the Cadets settled down and played their game, rallying back on a 10-2 run before Josler nailed in a trey to give Norwich (7-4) its first lead of the game, 12-11, with 2:37 remaining in the first quarter.

The Spartans managed to take the lead at the end of the quarter after Makayla Farrara (Shaftsbury, Vt.) nailed a three-pointer for Castleton’s 16-15 lead with six seconds remaining.

The second quarter saw a combine 16 points scored between both teams as Harrison netted six points of the nine points for Norwich as the Cadets led 24-23 at the half.

Castleton jumped ahead on a 6-2 run to start the second half before Oliver drilled in the trey to knot the game at 29 points apiece. The third quarter would see the score even once more before Norwich extended its lead to five, 40-35, after 30 minutes of play.

Norwich extended its lead on a 6-0 run in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter for 11-point margin, 46-25, before Castleton rallied in the last four minutes of the game with three treys and a layup to trail by just two points, 50-48, at the 2:37 mark.

Norwich looked to stay ahead on LeBlanc’s free throw, but Jade Desroches (Enosburg, Vt.) drilled a trey to tie up the game at 51 with 36 seconds remaining in the game. After a timeout, Norwich retained the ball on Castleton’s baseline as Josler inbounded the bounce pass to LeBlanc, who then stepped around her defender and posted the game-winning layup for the win.

The Cadets shot 30.6 percent from the floor and made 10-of-17 from the charity stripe and pulled down 54 total rebounds in the win. Castleton, who was led by Lindsay Sabo (Stanhope, N.J.) and Desroches with 16 and 14 points, respectively, shot 29 percent from the field and made just 5-of-8 from the line and crashed the boards with 42 rebounds.

Norwich will hit the court again on Tuesday, Jan. 5 when they travel to take on conference opponent Emmanuel College for the 7:30 p.m. tip-off. Castleton returns to action on Tuesday when the team hosts No. 16 Williams at 7 pm.

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