CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University women's basketball team heads to Northampton, Mass., this weekend for the Tyler Tip-Off Classic, hosted by Smith College Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 18-19.
The Spartans will face Bates College Saturday, Nov. 18, at 4 p.m. and future Little East Conference rival Southern Maine Sunday, Nov. 19, at 2 p.m.
Castleton opened the 2017-18 season with a convincing 86-44 victory over Elms College Wednesday night at Glenbrook Gym. The Spartans shot 51.6 percent (32-of-62) from the field as they scored over 20 points in every quarter. Defensively, Castleton forced Elms into 28 turnovers and held the Blazers to 23.5 percent field goal shooting.
Senior forward Amanda Beatty shot 5-of-6 from the field as she scored 13 points in just 14 minutes of action, while Makayla Farrara finished with 11 points and Ashlie Fay contributed 10 points, three rebounds, two assists, and four steals. In her first collegiate game, Brooke Raiche also scored 13 points, and her sister Taylor Raiche added nine points and a team-high seven rebounds to the winning effort.
Opening the 2017-18 season against Castleton, Bates is coming off an 8-16 record last year, including a 3-7 mark in the NESCAC. As a team, Bates scored 56.9 points per game as it shot 36.0 percent from the field, including 28.7 percent from behind the three-point line, and 67.7 percent from the free throw line, but the Bobcats are planning to play with a quicker tempo this season.
Like Castleton, Bates has five seniors on its roster, led by Nina Davenport, who averaged 13.0 points and 5.2 rebounds per game last season. Lyse Henshaw started all 24 games for the Bobcats last season, averaging 6.9 points and 2.4 rebounds per contest.
This will be the third meeting all-time between Castleton and Bates. The Bobcats won the first meeting on Dec. 4, 2009, during the Ed Hockenbury Classic at Norwich University, 82-54. On Nov. 16, 2014, in the Rutland Herald Classic at Glenbrook Gym, the Spartans held on for a 58-55 victory.
Southern Maine lost its season opener Wednesday night at the University of New England, 75-63, despite Alexa Srolovitz's output of 18 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. Last season, the Huskies posted a 5-21 overall record, including a 4-10 mark within the Little East Conference.
Srolovitz led Southern Maine in scoring last year, averaging 9.0 points per game, while Emily Nicholson averaged 8.7 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. In total, the top six scorers return for the Huskies this season, with Nicholson and Miranda Nicely the team's two seniors.
Castleton and Southern Maine have met just once previously, on Nov. 13, 2015, at the Salem State Tip-Off Classic in Salem, Mass. The Spartans defeated the Huskies, 43-28, led by Jade Desroches with 14 points. Southern Maine shot just 18.2 percent from the field and scored more than 10 points in only one of the four quarters.
After this weekend, the Spartans head to Plymouth, N.H., for the traditional Tuesday-before-Thanksgiving game against Plymouth State on Nov. 21 at 5:30 p.m.