CASTLETON, Vt. – After losing a double-digit lead, Castleton University rallied in the last three minutes of regulation to tie the game, but a Colby-Sawyer College basket in the final seconds allowed the Chargers to defeat the Spartans, 48-46, Tuesday evening in a North Atlantic Conference women's basketball game at Glenbrook Gym.
Ahead by five at halftime, Castleton extended its advantage to 13 at 40-27 thanks to a 12-2 scoring run in the third quarter, led by Amanda Beatty and Makayla Farrara with five points apiece. Colby-Sawyer started its comeback by scoring the final nine points of the quarter, featuring a three-pointer by Tianna Sugars.
Colby-Sawyer (17-5, 12-3 NAC) continued its scoring run into the fourth quarter, as a layup by Emmani Robinson two minutes into the period tied the game at 40-40, and then another Robinson layup put the Chargers ahead, 42-40. Baskets by Sugars and Robinson extended the Colby-Sawyer lead to 46-40, completing a 19-0 Charger scoring run that spanned nine-and-a-half minutes.
Two free throws by Taylor Raiche with 3:32 remaining in regulation ended the Charger run, and then a layup by Raiche on Castleton's next possession closed the Spartan deficit to two. Neither team was able to score for over two-and-a-half minutes until Ashlie Fay found Beatty in the post for a layup with 13 seconds left in the fourth quarter, tying the game at 46-46.
With fouls to give, Castleton forced Colby-Sawyer to inbound the ball three times, but on the third attempt, Lexie Hamilton lobbed a pass to Sugars underneath the basket, and Sugars converted a layup with 2.9 seconds left on the clock to put the Chargers back on top. The Spartans called timeout and advanced the ball to midcourt, but they were unable to attempt any type of shot before the buzzer sounded.
Beatty shot 7-of-13 from the field as she led the Spartans with 17 points and nine rebounds, while Farrara hit three three-pointers as she finished with 13 points. Fay collected eight rebounds, five assists, and six steals during the game.
Sugars led the Chargers with 13 points, while Robinson and Amanda Calvo each finished with 10 points. Hamilton contributed nine points, nine rebounds, six assists, and three steals. As a team, Colby-Sawyer shot 40.7 percent (22-of-54) from the field, including 2-of-11 from behind the three-point line.
As a team, Castleton shot 35.2 percent (19-of-54) from the field, including 3-of-16 from behind the three-point line, but the Spartans made all five of their free throw attempts. Castleton enjoyed a slight rebounding edge, 35-32, and took better advantage of its opponent's mistakes, scoring 20 points off 17 Charger turnovers, while Colby-Sawyer scored 13 points off 18 Spartan turnovers.
Castleton (17-4, 13-2 NAC) will head east for its final road trip of the regular season, traveling to Maine to face Thomas Friday, Feb. 9, at 5:30 p.m. and Maine-Farmington Saturday, Feb. 10, at 1 p.m.