CASTLETON, Vt. – After struggling offensively for the first 25 minutes of the game, Castleton University turned stingy defense into made baskets in the third and fourth quarters, rallying to defeat Colby-Sawyer College, 43-39, Thursday night in a North Atlantic Conference women's basketball game at Glenbrook Gym.
Down 29-10 with 6:09 remaining in the third quarter, Castleton started its comeback with a layup by Ashlie Fay off an assist from Lindsay Sabo. The Spartans would close their deficit to 13 with 2:49 left in the quarter on two free throws by Alexis Quenneville and then, after Colby-Sawyer missed two shots and committed a turnover, Sabo hit a three-pointer with 18 seconds left on the clock to cut the Charger lead to 31-21 heading into the fourth quarter.
Sabo hit another three-pointer on the first possession of the final quarter, and then layups by Morgan Raiche and Fay made it a one-possession game. After Emmani Robinson made a jumper for the Chargers, Taylor Raiche and Makayla Farrara hit layups to bring the Spartans within one at 33-32 with 6:20 remaining in regulation.
Colby-Sawyer (9-4, 4-2 NAC) came up empty on its next three possessions, and Sabo took advantage with her third three-pointer of the game to give Castleton its first lead since it was 1-0. Amanda Calvo hit a three-pointer to bring the Chargers within one at 37-36 with 3:03 left in the fourth quarter, but layups by Farrara and Amanda Beatty, along with two free throws from Sabo as well as four missed shots and three turnovers by Colby-Sawyer down the stretch, clinched the game in Castleton's favor.
Sabo led Castleton with 11 points and four assists, while Beatty pulled down 11 rebounds to go along with six points. The Spartans hit 46.2 percent (12-of-26) of their second half field goal attempts to finish the game at 26.7 percent (16-of-60) from the field, plus they matched Colby-Sawyer in the rebounding battle, 48-48.
Robinson led the Chargers with 15 points, plus she earned seven rebounds and two steals, while Kristin Ellis pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds. Colby-Sawyer shot just 23.1 percent (15-of-65) from the field, including 2-of-16 from behind the three-point line.
Castleton (8-5, 6-1 NAC) remains in second place in the NAC standings, just a half-game behind Husson, as it heads into an important road game Saturday, Jan. 14, at 3 p.m. against New England College, tied for third place in the league standings. The Spartans defeated the Pilgrims, 51-45, in the first meeting between the two schools Nov. 30.