Women’s Hoop: Spartans Pull Away from Middlebury 59-52

Courtesy Castleton Sports Information

MIDDLEBURY – Castleton played lock down defense and came up with some big shots late to come away with a 59-52 victory over Middlebury on Wednesday evening in Pepin Gym.

With the shot clock winding down and the game clock under 20 seconds, Jade Desroches found Lindsay Sabo open on the wing and she connected on a clutch three-point shot to double the Spartan lead, putting them in front 58-52. Castleton then forced a Panther miss from beyond the arc on the other end, and Ali Jones grabbed the rebound with four seconds left. She was fouled and hit one free throw to provide the final seven-point margin to give her team its third win over Middlebury in the last four years.

Each of the three previous meetings between the two teams was decided by just two points and this one was nearly as close. The Spartans held a one-point lead at the half and were tied 46 apiece with just 3:30 left in regulation, before they pulled away.

Castleton shot 37.7 percent from the floor and forced 19 turnovers to improve to 13-4 overall. The Panthers, meanwhile, shot just 33.3 percent and went 2-for-12 from downtown, but did own the rebounding edge 41-37 as they dropped to 10-7.

Senior Bryanna duPont scored 19 points in 20 minutes, with all but two points coming in the second half. She also added seven rebounds and a pair of assists. Makayla Farrara came off the bench to provide 12 points, three rebounds and two assists while Sabo added nine points, five assists and two rebounds. Jones chipped in two points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Catherine Harrison was dominant inside for the Panthers with 13 points and 20 rebounds, including nine offensive boards. Sarah Kaufman was also in double figures with 11 points, four rebounds and four assists, but shot just 2-for-12 from the floor.

Castleton jumped out to an early 5-4 lead on a triple by Sabo 2:30 into the contest. Middlebury responded with a 7-1 run to pull in front 11-6. Sabo connected on a second three to make it a two-point game but the Panthers scored in the final two minutes for a 13-9 advantage after one quarter.

The Spartan defense kept Middlebury scoreless during the first 4:52 of the second, while scoring ten points to take a 17-13 lead. Harrison ended the run at 5:08, but Farrara connected on a jump shot for the four-point lead nearly a minute later. Farrara then made a layup with 1:43 for a 21-18 lead, though Kaufman added a basket in the last 30 seconds to make it a one-point game at the break.

In the third, duPont went on a personal 7-3 run and Castleton eventually extended its lead to 30-23 at 7:18. Trailing 32-25 with 4:30 remaining, the Panthers finished the quarter on a 9-2 run to draw even 34-34 after three.

The Spartans opened the fourth on a 6-2 run, but couldn’t pull away. Kaufman kept Middlebury within striking distance and Harrison eventually made it a one-point game, 44-43, at 5:01. The Panthers then tied the contest on a pair of free throws with 3:41 left, however, Castleton responded with an 8-2 spurt to grab a 52-38 advantage two minutes later. Alex Huffman did score back-to-back layups in the final 1:45 to make it a three-point game, though Sabo’s shot proved to be the game clincher.

This entry was posted in . Bookmark the permalink.