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Castleton Spartans

Raiche Stings Hornets Late as Women's Basketball Swats NVU-Lyndon, 63-58

Raiche Stings Hornets Late as Women's Basketball Swats NVU-Lyndon, 63-58

LYNDONVILLE, Vt. – The Castleton University women's basketball team overcame a six-point fourth-quarter deficit on Wednesday evening, outscoring Northern Vermont University-Lyndon 13-2 over the final 3:23 of the game to claim a 63-58 victory on the road in non-conference action.

The win pushes Castleton to 3-0 on the season, while Lyndon drops to 2-1 with its first loss of the season. Brooke Raiche finished one rebound shy of a double-double, scoring a career-high 31 points while pulling in nine boards. Raiche was lights out from the floor, shooting 12-of-17 including a 3-for-5 mark from three-point range and a 4-for-4 mark from the free-throw line. Her 31 points are the most points by a Spartan since Vanessa Powers posted 32 points—also in a game against the Hornets—on February 19, 2011. Katlyn Toomey had a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with seven points for the Spartans, and Alexis Quenneville posted 12 points, five rebounds and four assists for Castleton. Abbie Lesure chipped in with six assists and four boards in the victory.

Lyndon's offense featured four scorers in double digits, led by Victoria Carlson's 18 points. Carlson added five rebounds, three assists and three steals for the Hornets. Alissa Mitchell had 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds to go along with four steals, while Faith Poirier and Lea Crompton added 11 points apiece.

Trailing by two points heading into the fourth quarter, Castleton quickly tied the game at 47-47 on a layup by Toomey before the Spartans took their first lead of the game on the following possession on a layup from Raiche. A three-ball from Lyndon's Carlson gave the Hornets a 50-49 lead once again, but a made free throw by Toomey knotted the game once more. Carlson again gave Lyndon a fourth-quarter lead with six minutes to play, nailing a jumper to put the Hornets up 52-50 before Crompton pushed the lead to six points with a layup and a jumper on back-to-back possessions.

Facing a six-point deficit with just 3:30 to play, Raiche halved the lead with a three-point play the old-fashioned way as she put home a layup and made the ensuing free throw after being fouled. She then pulled in an offensive rebound and made a put-back layup on the following possession to cut the lead to 56-55, but Crompton extended the lead to three points with a jumper.

A layup by Toomey with just 1:45 to play pulled Castleton back within a point before Raiche pick-pocketed the Hornets and took the ball the other way for a fast-break layup and a 59-58 Castleton lead with 1:22 to play. She then converted on yet another three-point play to push Castleton's lead out of reach, 62-58, before Lesure iced the game with a free throw with 10 seconds remaining on the clock to give the Spartans the 63-58 victory.

The Hornets came out of the gates firing, holding a 16-10 lead after the opening 10 minutes. Lyndon shot 57.1 percent from three-point range in the quarter, with Carlson scoring half of the team's total with eight points. The Hornets led by as many as 10 points in the first stanza, but Castleton closed the quarter on a 4-0 run to keep the game manageable.

After each side scored 17 points in the second quarter, Castleton came out of the locker room in the third quarter trailing by just six points and looking to make a comeback. The two teams traded blows throughout the quarter, but Castleton cut the deficit to just two points heading into the final frame after Raiche buried a three-pointer with just 10 seconds to play in the quarter.

Castleton is back in action on Saturday against NVU-Johnson. Tip-off is slated for 1 p.m. at Glenbrook Gymnasium.