CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University women's basketball team put on a defensive clinic on Saturday afternoon, stymying a potent Western Connecticut offense and claiming a Little East Conference victory by a final score of 67-60 at Glenbrook Gym.
Alexis Quenneville posted a career-best 27 points in the win, shooting 9-of-18 from the floor and 6-of-10 from long range. She also hauled in six rebounds in the win. Brooke Raiche tallied a double-double for the Spartans (10-3, 2-2 LEC), dropping 16 points in addition to a game-high 11 rebounds. Abbie Lesure added eight points and six boards for Castleton, while Olivia Perry had six points off the bench.
Asiah Knight led the Colonials with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting, while Hannah Maghini added 12 points off the bench. Genesis Torres pulled in 10 rebounds to go along with six points, while the team's leading scorer in Jancy Sherwood was held to just nine points.
Castleton went 20-of-61 (32.8 percent) from the field in the contest, while WestConn posted a 31.1 percent rate (23-of-74) thanks to a strong fourth-quarter performance. Through three quarters, the Colonials were shooting just 23.1 percent (12-of-52). Both teams coughed the ball up often, with WestConn committing 18 turnovers and Castleton giving it away 23 times. The Spartans controlled the glass by a 50-46 margin, and converted on 20-of-23 free throws in the win.
The defense was stingy from the opening tip, as the Colonials got their only field goal of the quarter just 1:13 into play. The 2-0 lead for WestConn was their only advantage of the game, as Castleton tied the game up two possessions later before taking the lead on a pair of free throws by Raiche. The Spartans closed out the quarter with a 12-2 lead behind four points apiece from Raiche and Ajla Medic as well as four rebounds by Lesure.
The defensive dominance continued into the second quarter for Castleton, as they kept the Colonials off the board for the first two minutes of the second stanza while stretching the lead to 18 points, 20-2. WestConn finally got back on the board with 8:03 left in the quarter, snapping a span of more than 10 minutes without a point. Castleton continued to play tough, taking a 34-15 lead into the halftime break.
The two sides traded blows throughout the third quarter, with the Colonials cutting the lead to 17 points, sending the game to the final frame with the Spartans ahead 51-34. A 7-0 run for the visitors than spanned nearly two minutes cut Castleton's lead from 19 points to 12 points, but four consecutive Spartan free throws extended the lead once again.
The Colonials refused to give up, keeping the full-court pressure on Castleton to spark a 14-2 run that narrowed the gap to just four points after a three from Sherwood made it 62-58. Quenneville answered with a layup on the other end of the floor to push the gap back to six, before Lesure iced the game with a pair of free throws with just 36 seconds to play. WestConn added one final layup before Quenneville notched her 27th point on a free throw, giving Castleton the 67-60 victory.
The Spartans are back in action on Tuesday evening at Eastern Connecticut for another LEC contest. Tip-off is slated for 5:30 p.m.