GORHAM, Maine – Alexis Quenneville scored a game-high 23 points on Saturday afternoon as the Castleton University women's basketball team made it back-to-back wins to open the season, knocking off the University of Maine-Farmington, 53-35, in the University of Southern Maine Veterans Day Tip-Off Classic at Hill Gymnasium.
Castleton (2-0) held the Beavers (0-2) to just 24.4 percent shooting overall and 14.3 percent from deep, while the Spartans themselves shot 32.9 percent from the field with a 37.9 percent clip from three-point range. Castleton dominated the turnover category, piling up 11 steals as a team—five from Katlyn Toomey alone—as UMF turned it over 16 times. Castleton gave the ball away just six times, while the Beavers had just two steals. Through two games, the stingy Spartan defense has yet to allow an opponent to score 15 points in a single quarter, and has held the opposition to less than 20 points in three of the four halves of basketball they have played.
Quenneville's 23 points were one off her career high of 24 in a single game, and came on 8-of-17 shooting, including 7-of-16 beyond the arc. Brooke Raiche added 16 points for Castleton on 6-of-10 shooting with a 3-for-4 mark from long range. Toomey again led the team in rebounding, with seven, while Quenneville, Tessa Davenport and Ashleay Wilcox all pulled in four rebounds for the Spartans. Abbie Lesure dished out a game-high four assists, while Wilcox added three helpers off the bench. Raiche was named to the All-Tournament Team for her efforts over the two-game weekend, as she averaged 19.0 points per game on 50 percent shooting from the field.
Morgan Crocker and Molly Folsom did the heavy lifting for the UMF offense, scoring 11 points each in the contest. Crocker was just 3-for-12 from the floor, but cashed in on five of her six free-throw chances. Folsom was 3-for-6 from the field and added five free throws of her own. Paige Carter led all players with nine rebounds, eight of which came on the defensive end.
Castleton opened up an 8-2 lead early in the first quarter, but the Beavers battled back to take a 10-9 lead minutes later after going on an 8-1 run. The two teams traded buckets to make the UMF lead 13-11 with 2:42 to play in the opening quarter. Neither side could muster any offense for the remainder of the period as the score held until the end of the opening 10 minutes.
The second quarter began much like the first quarter ended, as each defense gave its opposition fits, extending the game's scoreless streak to more nearly seven minutes of gameplay. Castleton finally broke the scoreless string with a three-ball from Quenneville to take a 14-13 lead, a play that sparked a 7-0 run to give Castleton an 18-13 lead midway through the second quarter. UMF battled back in the final minutes of the opening half, cutting the lead to just one point, 20-19, heading into the halftime break.
Castleton came out of the locker room ready to play, outscoring the Beavers 20-6 in the third quarter to put the game out of reach. Quenneville scored eight consecutive points to open the half, giving the Spartans a 28-19 lead. Castleton pushed that lead to 15 points with 1:23 to play in the third quarter when Ajla Medic dropped a three-ball to make it 40-25 in favor of the Spartans.
Castleton kept the pressure on the Beavers, as Raiche tallied Castleton's first eight points of the final stanza on a layup and a pair of threes to push the edge to 48-31. A layup by Davenport with 4:58 to play gave Castleton it's largest lead on the contest, 50-31. The two side traded baskets on the way out, with Quenneville capping the game's scoring with a three-pointer, making it 53-35 in favor of Castleton.
Castleton returns to action on Wednesday when it travels north to NVU-Lyndon for a 7 p.m. matchup with the Hornets at Stannard Gymnasium.