CASTLETON, Vt. – Led by a career-high scoring performance by junior Amanda Beatty, Castleton University used its strong defense to defeat Maine-Farmington, 65-29, Saturday afternoon in a North Atlantic Conference women's basketball game at Glenbrook Gym.
Beatty shot 10-of-14 from the field and 5-of-7 from the free throw line for 25 points, plus she led the Spartans with six rebounds. Ashlie Fay hit 5-of-6 shots from the field as she finished with 11 points, five rebounds, two assists, and three steals, and Makayla Farrara contributed eight points, four rebounds, and two blocked shots.
Castleton went on an 8-0 scoring run over a two-minute span in the first quarter, punctuated by a three-pointer from Farrara, to open a 12-4 advantage. A three-pointer by Lindsay Sabo and a jumper by Farrara extended the Spartan lead into double digits, but a three-pointer by Sara Lamb late in the quarter brought the Beavers to within eight at 18-10.
Beatty scored the first six points and the last six points of the second quarter as Castleton held Maine-Farmington without a field goal in the quarter, outscoring the Beavers 18-3 to take a 36-13 lead into the locker room at halftime. After Beatty made a layup to open the third quarter, UMF scored six straight points, but the Beavers were held to just one field goal in the third quarter as each team scored just nine points in the period.
The Spartans opened the fourth quarter with 10 unanswered points before UMF's Cheyenne Malloy hit a three-pointer with 4:34 remaining in regulation. Morgan Crocker made four free throws for the Beavers' other points of the period, while Ajla Medic hit two three-pointers down the stretch to cap Castleton's convincing victory.
As a team, Castleton shot 45.0 percent (27-of-60) from the field, including 6-of-21 from the free throw line. The Spartans scored 31 points off 30 Maine-Farmington turnovers while buckling down on defense and not allowing a point off 14 Castleton turnovers.
Crocker led Maine-Farmington with 10 points, but the Beavers were held to 16.2 percent (6-of-37) field goal shooting, including 2-of-11 from behind the three-point line, plus they hit 55.6 percent (15-of-27) of their free throw attempts. The rebounding battle was a draw, with each team pulling down 38 boards.
The Spartans are now in solo second place in the NAC standings after New England College lost to Colby-Sawyer Saturday, 82-63. In addition, they gained a game on league leader Husson, as the Eagles lost at Johnson State, 80-70, reducing their lead over the Spartans to two games.
Castleton (13-8, 11-3 NAC) travels to Maine next weekend to face Maine Maritime Friday, Feb. 10, at 7:30 p.m. and Husson Saturday, Feb. 11, at 3 p.m.