Castleton Women’s Basketball Falls to Williams

Castleton Women’s Basketball Falls to Williams

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Castleton University rallied from a double-digit deficit and took the lead in the fourth quarter, but Williams College recovered to outlast the Spartans for a 55-47 victory Wednesday night in a non-conference women's collegiate basketball game at Chandler Gymnasium.

Just as she did to start the first two quarters, Morgan Raiche scored the first two points of the third quarter, and Castleton pulled to within six on a three-pointer by Makayla Farrara and a jumper from Phoebe Parrish. The Spartans missed two chances to cut further into the Ephs' lead, and Williams took advantage as Devon Caveney hit a layup and a three-pointer in the span of a minute to extend the Ephs' lead to 41-30.

Castleton worked its way back, holding Williams scoreless over a nine-minute stretch spanning the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth quarter. Ashlie Fay scored the final five points of the third quarter, and then her layup 33 seconds into the fourth quarter brought the Spartans within one at 41-40. After two-and-a-half minutes of scoreless action, Farrara hit two free throws to give Castleton its first lead since the first minute of the game.

Williams (10-2) put together a 10-2 scoring run to retake the lead at 51-44 with three minutes remaining in regulation, and the Ephs' defense held Castleton scoreless for a two-and-a-half-minute span. Farrara hit a three-pointer with 1:10 left in regulation to cut the Spartan deficit to four, but Williams scored enough points and played solid defense down the stretch to hold off Castleton.

Farrara finished with 24 points, hitting five three-pointers along the way, while Fay scored 11 points and pulled down five rebounds. Making the first start of her collegiate career, Raiche finished with six points, two blocked shots, and a career-high 13 rebounds.

Raiche and Fay hit jumpers in the first minute of the game, but Williams responded with a 10-0 scoring run over the next five minutes, with Kristin Fechtelkotter starting and ending the run with baskets. Two free throws from Amanni Fernandez extended the Ephs' lead into double figures, but Farrara hit a three-pointer with one minute left in the opening quarter to cut the Spartan deficit to seven at 16-9.

Raiche started the second quarter with a jumper, the same way she began the first quarter, but Fechtelkotter answered with her own layup, and Emily Chang followed with a three-pointer. After Farrara answered a Lauren McCall three-pointer with one of her own midway through the second quarter, the Ephs scored five straight points over the next minute to extend their lead to 13 points. Castleton scored the final five points of the first half, the last two on a layup by Abbie Lesure, to close the Williams lead to 31-23 at halftime.

Caveney led Williams with 18 points, plus she collected seven rebounds, three assists, and four steals, while Fechtelkotter notched a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds to go along with two assists, two steals, and three blocked shots. As a team, the Ephs shot 34.5 percent (19-of-55) from the field, including 4-of-21 from behind the three-point line, and 68.4 percent (13-of-19) from the free throw line.

The Spartans shot 27.9 percent (17-of-61) from the field, including 5-of-14 from behind the three-point line, and 53.3 percent (8-of-15) from the free throw line. Each team finished with 43 rebounds, and the turnover situation was close, as Castleton committed 15 turnovers while Williams turned the ball over 12 times.

Castleton (6-5) resumes North Atlantic Conference play with contests at Glenbrook Gym against Green Mountain Saturday, Jan. 7, at 3 p.m., and Colby-Sawyer Thursday, Jan. 12, at 7:30 p.m.