NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – Thanks to clutch shooting from both the field and the free throw line at key times as well as tough defense, the Castleton University women's basketball team completed a sweep of this weekend's games with a 76-67 victory over the University of Southern Maine Sunday afternoon in the Tyler Tip-Off Classic hosted by Smith College at Ainsworth Gym.
Makayla Farrara led the Spartans with 17 points, Ashlie Fay finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and four steals, and Alexis Quenneville added 10 points. Castleton received solid contributions from the bench, including Emilee Bose with nine points and seven rebounds and Morgan Raiche May with seven points.
Southern Maine (0-3) took an early 5-2 lead before Castleton put together a 9-1 scoring run to pull ahead, 11-6. Down by seven, the Huskies cut into the Spartan lead late in the first quarter thanks to a three-pointer by Kristen Curley and a jumper from Alexa Srolovitz, pulling to within two at 17-15 after the opening quarter.
The Huskies tied the game three times during the second quarter, but could never take the lead, as the Spartans always responded. Castleton closed the first half with a 6-1 scoring run, capped by a layup from Quenneville, to go into the locker room at halftime ahead, 34-29.
In the third quarter, Emily Nicholson hit a three-pointer to pull Southern Maine to within two at 40-38, but Castleton threatened to break the game open with an 11-3 scoring run, capped by a layup from Brooke Raiche and a three-pointer by Quenneville. However, the Huskies cut the Spartan lead in half with five straight points, including a layup by Kimberly Howrigan at the start of the fourth quarter.
A traditional three-point play by Amanda Beatty midway through the fourth quarter extended the Castleton lead into double figures at 60-48. The Huskies put on a full-court press and cut into the Spartan advantage with a 7-0 stretch, punctuated by a three-pointer from Srolovitz.
The Spartans increased their lead back to 12 on consecutive three-pointers by Farrara, but Southern Maine kept fighting, closing to within five in the final minute on a jumper by Nicholson. Farrara sealed the victory for Castleton by going 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the final 22 seconds.
Curley led Southern Maine with 16 points, Srolovitz ended up with 13 points, seven rebounds, and three assists, and Nicholson added 11 points, six rebounds, and three steals. As a team, the Huskies shot 39 percent (23-for-59) from the field, including 9-for-21 from behind the three-point line, and 63.2 percent (12-for-19) from the free throw line.
The Spartans shot 46 percent (23-for-50) from the field, including 6-for-12 from behind the three-point line, and 82.8 percent (24-for-29) from the free throw line. Castleton won the rebounding battle, 39-29, as it has started a season 3-0 for the third straight year.
Farrara was named to the All-Tournament Team after averaging 19.5 points per game on 11-for-17 shooting from the field, including 6-for-8 from long distance, and 11-for-12 shooting from the free throw line. Quenneville also earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team as she averaged 17.0 points per game and led the Castleton comeback over Bates Saturday with seven second half three-pointers, including the game-winning basket with eight seconds left in regulation.
Castleton (3-0) heads to Plymouth, N.H., to face the Plymouth State Panthers Tuesday, Nov. 21, starting at 5:30 p.m.