HENNIKER, N.H. – Castleton University gave up the lead late in the third quarter, but fought back in the fourth quarter to defeat New England College, 70-63, Tuesday night in a North Atlantic Conference women's basketball game at Bridges Gym.
Down 46-39 after a layup by Ashlie Fay, New England College scored the final nine points of the third quarter, featuring a three-pointer by Rene Hudson as well as two free throws apiece by Hudson and Daleia Boutwell to put the Pilgrims ahead, 48-46. Amanda Beatty opened the scoring in the fourth quarter with a layup to tie the game, but Lanesha Hawkins responded with a three-pointer to put the home team ahead, 51-48.
Midway through the final quarter, Makayla Farrara connected on a three-pointer to put the Spartans ahead, and then she made two free throws after a NEC technical foul to give Castleton a four-point cushion at 56-52. The Pilgrims were held without a field goal for almost six full minutes, allowing Castleton to keep a multiple-possession lead the rest of the way.
Beatty tied her season high for scoring with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field, while Taylor Raiche scored a season-high 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field and 3-of-4 shooting from the free throw line, plus she pulled down a team-high six rebounds. Farrara finished with 10 points, and Brooke Raiche and Emilee Bose contributed eight points apiece off the bench.
After Boutwell scored the first basket of the game, Castleton took control thanks to a 10-1 scoring run, led by Beatty with four points. Hudson hit two three-pointers to close the Pilgrim deficit to one at 14-13, but three points from Brooke Raiche and a layup by Bose helped Castleton remain on top after the first quarter, 19-15.
Hudson hit two more three-pointers to keep New England College within one possession midway through the second quarter, but Castleton extended its lead to seven at 33-26 with a 6-1 scoring run. Hudson scored four points near the end of the first half to bring the Pilgrims back within two points, but Heather Kervin hit a three-pointer on the Spartans' final possession to increase their advantage to 37-32 at halftime.
Hudson led all players with 26 points, shooting 7-of-12 from the field, including 5-of-9 from behind the three-point line, and 7-of-8 from the free throw line. She also grabbed eight rebounds, as did Jada Black, while Anoushka Boatswain collected eight points and nine rebounds, as the Pilgrims won the rebounding battle, 40-29.
New England College (6-7, 3-5 NAC) shot 42.9 percent (18-of-42) from the field, including 7-of-16 from behind the three-point line, and 74.1 percent (20-of-27) from the free throw line. The Spartans matched the Pilgrims from the free throw line while hitting 38.7 percent (24-of-62) from the field. Castleton's defense produced when it counted, as the Spartans scored 24 points off 24 Pilgrim turnovers.
Castleton (12-2, 8-0 NAC) hosts Maine-Farmington Friday, Jan. 19, at 5:30 p.m. The Spartans then welcome Thomas College to Glenbrook Gym Saturday, Jan. 20, for a 1 p.m. tipoff, a contest that has been designated the One Love Game to raise awareness about healthy and unhealthy relationships.