CASTLETON, Vt. – Castleton University used the combination of balanced offense and strong defense to open the 2017-18 season with an 86-44 victory over Elms College in a non-conference women's collegiate basketball contest Wednesday evening at Glenbrook Gym.
Seven different Spartans scored at least seven points apiece, with Amanda Beatty and Brooke Raiche leading the way with 13 points each. Makayla Farrara scored 11 points, and Ashlie Fay contributed 10 points and four steals. Taylor Raiche scored nine points to go along with a team-high seven rebounds, Emilee Bose scored seven points, and Alexis Quenneville added seven points and five assists.
Castleton opened a 14-point lead by the end of the first quarter thanks to a 17-3 scoring run, including the final 10 points of the quarter. The Spartans continued to extend that lead in the second quarter, shooting 61.5 percent from the field as they outscored the Blazers 24-14 to take a 45-21 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Spartan momentum continued into the third quarter, highlighted by a steal by Quenneville that led to a fast-break layup for Brooke Raiche, two of 14 fast-break points for Castleton. The home team once again passed the 20-point mark in the fourth quarter, shooting 58.3 percent from the field in the final 10 minutes to outscore Elms, 21-9.
Castleton forced Elms into 28 turnovers, leading to 34 Spartan points, plus the Spartans held the Blazers to 23.5 percent field goal shooting (12-of-51). Castleton won the rebounding battle, 44-37, and earned more assists (16) than turnovers (14) in the contest.
Elms (0-1) was led by Niah Pantry with 12 points and seven rebounds, while Nakia Mabin came off the bench and scored 10 points, most of them coming from the free throw line (8-of-13).
As a team, the Spartans shot 52.5 percent (32-of-61) from the field and 64.5 percent (20-of-31) from the free throw line. Castleton hit over 50 percent of its field goal attempts for the first time since Dec. 10, 2016, against Lyndon State.
Castleton (1-0) heads to Northampton, Mass., for the Tyler Tip-Off Classic this weekend, hosted by Smith College. The Spartans will face Bates Saturday, Nov. 18, at 4 p.m. and future conference foe Southern Maine Sunday, Nov. 19, at 2 p.m.