PLYMOUTH, N.H. – In a hard-fought contest that went down to the wire, Amanda Beatty led Castleton University with 16 points, including the game-winning free throw with 0.3 seconds remaining in regulation, as the Spartans held off Plymouth State, 53-52, Tuesday night in a non-conference women's collegiate basketball game at Foley Gym.
Ahead by six at halftime, Castleton doubled that advantage, taking a 35-23 lead four minutes into the third quarter on two free throws by Makayla Farrara. Plymouth State erased the entire Spartan lead over the next five minutes with a 12-0 run, led by Brittany Roche with nine points.
With the score tied at 37-37 early in the fourth quarter, Castleton retook the lead with seven straight points, starting with a layup by Morgan Raiche May. The Panthers pulled to within two, but Alexis Quenneville hit a three-pointer and Castleton made three free throws to extend its lead back to four at 52-48 in the final minute.
Debra Morrill hit a jumper on Plymouth State's next possession and then, after a Panther defensive stop, Jess Conant made a layup with 1.2 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 52-52. On the Spartans' next possession, the ball immediately went to Beatty in the post, and she drew a foul to set up her game-winning free throw, with Plymouth State unable to do anything in the final 0.3 seconds.
Beatty finished with 16 points, going 8-for-12 from the free throw line, while Farrara was a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe on her way to a 12-point performance. Quenneville hit three three-pointers for nine points, and Ashlie Fay collected eight points, nine rebounds, four assists, and eight steals.
Plymouth State (2-2) was led by Conant with 19 points, Roche with 14 points, and Cassidy Emerson with 10 points and eight rebounds. As a team, the Panthers shot just 35.4 percent (17-for-48) from the field, including 3-for-15 from behind the three-point line, and 88.2 percent (15-for-17) from the free throw line.
Castleton needed to depend on its defense for most of the game, as the Spartans hit just 26.8 percent (15-for-56) of their field goal attempts and committed 21 turnovers. Castleton hit 71.4 percent of its free throw chances (20-for-28), won the rebounding battle, 38-33, and forced Plymouth State into 25 turnovers.
Castleton (4-0) will have a week to prepare for the start of the North Atlantic Conference schedule, beginning next Tuesday, Nov. 28, at Johnson State starting at 5:30 p.m.