CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University women's basketball team took advantage of Husson University's mistakes, scoring 27 points off 19 Eagle turnovers on its way to a 71-56 victory Saturday afternoon in a North Atlantic Conference contest at Glenbrook Gym.
Makayla Farrara led Castleton with 21 points, Amanda Beatty finished with a season-high 17 points, and Alexis Quenneville contributed 11 points and five assists. As a team, the Spartans shot 48.1 percent (26-for-54) from the field, including 8-for-20 from behind the three-point line, and 84.6 percent (11-for-13) from the free throw line.
The two teams exchanged baskets in the first 40 seconds, and then Castleton scored eight unanswered points, capped by a three-pointer from Ashlie Fay, to pull ahead 10-2. Ahead by five in the final seconds of the first quarter, Fay found Farrara in the right corner for a three-pointer that extended the Spartan lead to 21-13.
Husson (3-3, 3-1 NAC) battled back in the second quarter, cutting a 10-point deficit down to two with eight straight points, four points each from Sarah Bragg and Kenzie Worcester. Baskets by Morgan Raiche May and Katlyn Toomey down the stretch of the first half gave Castleton a 36-30 halftime advantage.
Down by nine one minute into the third quarter, Husson once again rallied with eight unanswered points, capped by an offensive rebound and putback by Anna MacKenzie, to close to within one at 39-38. A layup by Emilee Bose stopped the Husson run, and Castleton was able to extend its lead back to eight at 53-45 on a Quenneville three-pointer.
Three-pointers by Brooke Raiche and Quenneville at the start of the fourth quarter gave Castleton a 13-point cushion, but the Eagles made one final charge, bringing their deficit back into single digits midway through the final quarter on a three-pointer by Barrett Campbell. The Spartans closed out the game with a 9-3 scoring run to take over solo first place in the NAC standings.
Worcester led all players with a double-double, shooting 7-for-17 from the field and a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line for 25 points and 10 rebounds along with five assists. As a team, Husson shot 32.2 percent (19-for-59) from the field, including 3-for-15 from behind the three-point line, and 68.2 percent (15-for-22) from the free throw line. Husson controlled the rebounding battle, as the Eagles outrebounded the Spartans 43-29, but Husson scored only 13 second-chance points off 19 offensive boards.
Castleton (9-0, 5-0 NAC) closes out the 2017 portion of its schedule with a non-conference game against the Norwich Cadets Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. at Glenbrook Gym. Husson returns to action after the Christmas holiday for non-conference games at Bates Dec. 30 and at Saint Joseph's (Maine) Dec. 31.