LYNDONVILLE, Vt. – Castleton University took the early lead, and then allowed its defense to stop the Lyndon State College attack, as the Spartans pulled away for a 59-41 victory over the Hornets Saturday afternoon in a North Atlantic Conference women's basketball game at Stannard Gymnasium.
Makayla Farrara led the Spartans with 18 points, as she continually drew fouls while driving to the basket and hit 10-of-12 shots from the free throw line. Amanda Beatty hit 6-of-10 shots from the field as she finished with 13 points, and Taylor Raiche pulled down 15 rebounds as Castleton won the rebounding battle, 45-36.
Farrara and Beatty combined to score the first nine points of the game for the Spartans before Lyndon finally broke through halfway through the first quarter. Castleton extended its lead to 19-6 by scoring six straight points in the final two minutes of the opening period, punctuated by a layup by Heather Kervin as time ran out in the quarter.
After Beatty and Farrara opened the second quarter with consecutive baskets, Lyndon scored six straight points, four by Alissa Mitchell, to close to within 11 at 23-12. The two teams exchanged baskets the rest of the first half, with a jumper by Abbie Lesure extending the Spartan lead to 30-16 at halftime.
Ashlie Fay and Alexis Quenneville hit three-pointers to open the third quarter as Castleton scored the first seven points of the second half. Lyndon scored six unanswered points, capped by a traditional three-point play from Faith Poirier, to close to within 15 at 39-24, but the Spartans closed out the third quarter with a 9-2 scoring run, including a layup by Ashleay Wilcox as time ran out.
Lyndon (6-5, 3-2 NAC) outscored Castleton in the fourth quarter, 15-11, led by Mikayla Hodge with six points and five rebounds in the final 10 minutes. Hodge was able to notch her 11th double-double in as many games with 16 points and 10 rebounds, including an 8-for-8 performance at the free throw line.
As a team, the Hornets shot just 25.5 percent (14-of-55) from the field, including 2-of-15 from behind the three-point line, and 73.3 percent (11-of-15) from the free throw line. Lyndon committed just nine turnovers, but were able to score only six points off Castleton turnovers and four second-chance points.
The Spartans shot 37.5 percent (21-of-56) from the field, including 5-of-11 from behind the three-point line, and 70.6 percent (12-of-17) from the free throw line. Castleton committed a season-low 11 turnovers while dishing out 17 assists, led by Fay with five assists.
Castleton (10-1, 6-0 NAC) heads to Middlebury, Vt., Tuesday, Jan. 9, to face the Middlebury College Panthers in a 7 p.m. tipoff. The Spartans then return to Glenbrook Gym and host Johnson State next Saturday, Jan. 13, starting at 1 p.m.