PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Castleton University women's basketball team suffered a Little East Conference loss on Saturday afternoon, falling to Plymouth State by a final score of 53-49 at Foley Gymnasium.
Castleton falls to 12-6 with the loss, including a 4-5 mark in LEC play. Plymouth State now sits at 8-9 overall and 2-9 in conference play, both LEC wins coming against the Spartans this season. Castleton shot 31.3 percent from the floor on the night, going 15-of-48, while the Panthers posted a 20-for-52 line for a 38.5 percent rate from the field. Castleton converted on 16-of-24 from the free throw line, while Plymouth State made 8-of-10 from the charity stripe. Castleton dominated the glass, holding a 39-28 edge in rebounding, but the Panthers cashed in on 16 points from 20 Castleton turnovers.
Brooke Raiche led all scorers with 18 points in the contest, 13 of which came in the second half. The sophomore was 4-of-8 from the floor while knocking down 9-of-12 at the free throw line. She added six rebounds, two assists and two steals in the effort. Katlyn Toomey and Alexis Quenneville had nine points apiece, with Quenneville leading the way on the glass for the second game in a row with eight rebounds.
The Panthers had three scorers reach double digits in the outing, led by Jess Conant with 14. Cassidy Emerson added 11 points and five rebounds, while Brittany Roche had 11 points off the bench. Debra Morrill chipped in with six assists and four steals on the day for Plymouth State.
Castleton opened the game with a hot hand from the field, shooting 5-of-11 in the first quarter to take a 13-6 lead after 10 minutes. Quenneville and Tessa Davenport each had four first-quarter points while the Spartans held the Panthers scoreless through the opening five-plus minutes. Raiche added a late layup to push Castleton's lead to seven points at the end of the opening frame.
The Panthers cut into the Castleton lead in the second quarter, closing the half on an 8-2 run to send the game into halftime with the Spartans ahead, 29-28. The Panthers shot an impressive 56.3 percent (9-of-16) in the quarter with a trio of threes to cut into Castleton's lead. Toomey had four points for the Spartans in the quarter, helping the Spartans take the lead into halftime.
Plymouth State took its first lead of the game on the opening possession of the second half as Conant put home a layup to make it 30-29. Castleton regained the lead on a Raiche layup, but a 6-0 run by the Panthers gave them a 36-31 edge. Castleton closed the gap before the end of the quarter and trailed by just two points, 41-39, heading to the final frame.
The Panthers extended the lead to seven points with less than four minutes to play, but Castleton rattled off a 6-0 run to make it 48-47 in favor of Plymouth with 2:17 to play after Raiche knocked down a pair of free throws. The Panthers answered with buckets on back-to-back possessions to push the lead back to five points, 52-47, before Raiche put home a layup to make it 52-49 before the Panthers got the last point of the game on a free throw with two seconds on the clock.
Castleton returns to the hardwood on Wednesday at Western Connecticut State University at 5:30 p.m.