CASTLETON, Vt. – Castleton University won its eighth straight game with a 61-44 victory over Johnson State Saturday afternoon in a North Atlantic Conference women's collegiate basketball game at Glenbrook Gym, solidifying the number two seed at next week's conference tournament.
Alexis Quenneville hit three more three-pointers as she scored 13 of her team-high 14 points in the fourth quarter, while Amanda Beatty notched a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. In the final regular season home game of her collegiate career, Lindsay Sabo contributed nine points and eight rebounds.
Beatty scored the first three points of the game before Johnson State scored the next six points to take a 6-3 lead late in the first quarter. The two teams played tight defense, as the only other points of the quarter came from a traditional three-point play by Beatty, tying the game at 6-6 after one quarter.
Castleton put together a 9-2 scoring run early in the second quarter, including six points from Sabo, to take a 17-10 advantage. Johnson State responded with its own 10-2 scoring run, led by Kasey DeGreenia with eight points, to take a 20-19 lead, and then a steal and layup by Domonique Carter-Stanley as time ran out in the first half tied the game at 22-22 at halftime.
Johnson State (12-13, 8-10 NAC) took a 28-26 lead midway through the third quarter on a three-pointer by Ashley Goddard, but Castleton went on a 9-3 scoring run to pull ahead, 35-31. A jumper by DeGreenia late in the third quarter closed the Badger deficit to two, but a basket by Phoebe Parrish gave the Spartans a 37-33 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Spartans opened the fourth quarter on an 11-2 scoring run, led by two three-pointers from Quenneville and four points by Parrish. Consecutive three-pointers by Quenneville and Sabo midway through the quarter gave Castleton its biggest lead of the game at 56-38, and the Spartans cruised the rest of the way to their ninth straight league win.
DeGreenia led the Badgers with 12 points and three assists, while Sarah Voorhis finished with 11 points and six rebounds. As a team, Johnson State shot 30 percent (15-of-50) from the field, including 1-of-8 from behind the three-point line, and 59.1 percent (13-of-22) from the free throw line.
The Spartans shot much better in the second half, finishing at 33.9 percent (21-of-62) from the field, including 5-of-18 from behind the three-point line, and 70 percent (14-of-20) from the free throw line. Castleton won the rebounding battle, 48-35, and committed 13 turnovers while forcing Johnson State into 15 turnovers.
Along with top seed Husson, Castleton receives a bye into the semifinals of the NAC Tournament after posting a 15-3 record in league play, just one game behind the Eagles. The final two rounds will take place next weekend, Feb. 24-25, in Bangor, Maine.
Castleton (17-8, 15-3 NAC) awaits the winner of Tuesday's quarterfinal game between third seed New England College and sixth seed Johnson State. The semifinal involving the Spartans is set for Friday, Feb. 24, at 8 p.m. at Husson University.