CASTLETON, Vt. – After a brief sluggish start, Castleton University used its strong defense and timely offense to pull away with a 71-34 victory over Johnson State College Sunday afternoon in a North Atlantic Conference women's basketball game at Glenbrook Gym.
It was a team effort, as all 12 players that saw action scored at least one point and pulled down two rebounds at a minimum. Amanda Beatty finished with 10 points, six rebounds, and two steals, Makayla Farrara also scored 10 points to go along with four rebounds and five assists, and four other Spartans scored eight points apiece.
After Beatty opened the scoring with a layup, Johnson scored the next five points, including a three-pointer by Mary Richardson, to pull ahead, 5-2, four minutes into the contest. Abbie Lesure hit two three-pointers as Castleton scored 15 unanswered points, holding the Badgers to just a free throw in the final six minutes of the quarter to take a 20-6 lead.
Castleton's tough defense continued into the second quarter, as Johnson did not make another field goal until the midway point of the period, snapping a 7-1 Spartan run to open the second quarter. The Badgers did outscore the Spartans 7-3, including a layup by Ellery Kiefer at the end of the first half, but Castleton still held a 30-14 lead at halftime.
The Spartans outscored the Badgers in the third quarter 25-7, pulling ahead by as much as 37 points before a three-pointer by Kiefer made the score 55-21 in Castleton's favor after three quarters. The final quarter was close as the two teams basically traded baskets, but by that time the final result was not in doubt.
Johnson (2-11, 1-7 NAC) was led by Mariah Ramos with nine points, while Devin Libby finished with six points and eight rebounds. As a team, the Badgers shot 23.9 percent (11-of-46) from the field, including 4-of-16 from behind the three-point line, and 40 percent (8-of-20) from the free throw line.
The Spartans shot 37.5 percent (24-of-64) from the field, including 8-of-20 from behind the three-point line, and 65.2 percent (15-of-23) from the free throw line. Lesure scored a career-high eight points, while Morgan Raiche May pulled down a season-high nine rebounds as Castleton won the rebounding war, 55-29, including 24 offensive rebounds that led to 19 second-chance points.
Castleton (11-2, 7-0 NAC) travels to New England College Tuesday, Jan. 16, for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff. The Spartans then host Maine-Farmington next Friday, Jan. 19, and Thomas next Saturday, Jan. 20, in the One Love Awareness Game.