Farmington, Maine – Castleton put forth one of its best halves of the season to break open a close game on Saturday against the University of Maine at Farmington and finish with a 91-60 victory in Dearborn Gym.
The Spartans led just 43-40 at the break but shot 52.6 percent from the floor in the second half and held the Beavers to 25.0 percent shooting and 20 total points as they improved to 21-3 overall and 16-1 in the North Atlantic Conference. UMF finished the game at 40.8 percent from the floor but committed 27 turnovers as they dropped to 9-14 and 8-8 in conference play.
Jade Desroches helped keep Castleton in front early with 16 first-half points and then scored ten more in the second for a career-high 26 in the game. The junior also added three rebounds four assists and four steals. Liz Douglass was impressive as well with 19 points, seven rebounds, six steals and four assists. Shelby LaBarge came off the bench to shoot 9-for-11 for 19 points, four rebounds and three steals.
Lindsay Ranquist was one of two Beavers in double figures with 15 points and six rebounds. Ayla Allen added 11 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Meghan Smith grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and chipped in with nine points.
UMF jumped out to an 11-6 lead over the first 5:20, however, LaBarge connected on a jump shot and Desroches drilled a triple to tie it up 11 apiece. Douglass extended the lead to 16-13 and a 9-2 run pushed the Spartan advantage to 25-15 at 10:56.
The Beavers slowly came back and used a 10-2 run to take a 32-31 lead with 4:50 remaining. LaBarge ended the run and Castleton countered with an 8-2 spurt to go in front 39-34 with 2:49 left. A jumper from Douglass made it 43-38 with 31 seconds remaining but a pair of Allen free throws cut the lead to 43-40 at the break.
The Spartans scored the first ten points of the second half over 3:27, and after a UMF bucket, four more points gave Castleton a 57-42 advantage at 14:55. Two minutes later a three-point play from Desroches extended the lead to 66-45 and a 10-2 run it to 76-47 with 9:03 remaining. The Spartan lead climbed as high as 35 in the final two minutes before they finished with the 31-point victory.
The 91 points is the most for Castleton since 2004, when the Spartans defeated Becker 95-51 on Feb. 24 at home.
Castleton returns to action on Saturday when the team hosts Green Mountain in its final regular season game of the year at 1 pm.