HENNIKER, N.H. – Castleton University could not pull off another comeback, as New England College held on for a 66-56 victory Saturday afternoon in a North Atlantic Conference women's basketball game at Bridges Gym.
Castleton took an early 7-2 lead one-and-a-half minutes into the game, with Lindsay Sabo scoring five of those points. New England College answered back in the second quarter, scoring 13 unanswered points over a five-minute span, led by Breana Ramirez with six points during that stretch. The Pilgrims would eventually take a 28-18 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Rene Hudson hit two three-pointers in the first minute of the third quarter to extend the Pilgrim lead to 34-20, and then she scored four more points as part of an 8-0 NEC run that put the home team ahead, 42-24, halfway through the quarter. Castleton scored the next six points, but the Pilgrims would not allow them to come any closer in the quarter, taking a 48-34 lead into the final period.
Sabo hit a three-pointer early in the fourth quarter, starting a 7-0 Spartan run that closed the NEC lead to seven at 50-43, but another three-pointer by Hudson and a layup by Ramirez brought the Pilgrim lead back into double digits. Sabo hit two more three-pointers late in the quarter to keep the Spartans in the game, but New England College went 11-for-14 from the free throw line in the final two minutes to hold off the Castleton rally.
Sabo led Castleton with 14 points and three assists, while Amanda Beatty finished with 12 points and six rebounds. As a team, the Spartans shot 36.8 percent (21-of-57) from the field, including 4-of-16 from behind the three-point line, and 71.4 percent (10-of-14) from the free throw line.
New England College (10-3, 5-2 NAC) was led by Hudson with 18 points, Ramirez with 14 points and eight rebounds, and Utshana Durham with 14 points on 12-of-12 shooting from the free throw line along with six rebounds and three assists. The Pilgrims shot 40.5 percent (17-of-42) from the field, including 4-of-12 from behind the three-point line, and 82.4 percent (28-of-34) from the free throw line.
Castleton (8-6, 6-2 NAC) returns home for a three-game homestand, starting Friday, Jan. 20, against conference leader Husson at Glenbrook Gym beginning at 7:30 p.m.