SALEM, Mass. – The Castleton University women's basketball team took over in the second half on Saturday afternoon en route to a 55-51 victory over Endicott in the Salem State Holiday Classic at Twohig Gymnasium.
The Spartans (8-3) trailed the Gulls (5-5) by four points heading in the locker room at the half, but Brooke Raiche dropped 12 second-half points while Ajla Medic added seven points in the final 20 minutes to power the Spartans to a victory. Castleton controlled the glass 45-43 in the contest and outshot the Gulls from three-point range, 33.3 percent (7-for-21) to 15.0 percent (3-for-20). Both teams were plagued by turnovers, but Castleton took advantage of Endicott's missed opportunities with 14 points off Gull miscues.
Raiche finished with a game-high 16 points, while Medic totaled 13 points in the contest. Raiche was 7-of-14 shooting from the field and added eight boards for the Spartans. Katlyn Toomey dominated on the boards, grabbing 17 rebounds—12 defensive—for Castleton while chipping in with six points.
Endicott's Emily Pratt dropped 12 points on 5-of-15 shooting to lead the way for her team, while Catie Lipscomb had nine points and nine rebounds off the bench. Kaleigh Putnam finished the day with nine points of 4-of-6 shooting for the Gulls.
Both offenses struggled to get going in the first quarter as the holiday rust came off. The Castleton defense stood tall early on, as Endicott opened the game just 1-of-8 from the field before a pair of late baskets put the Gulls ahead 9-7 after 10 minutes. Both offenses came to life in the second quarter, as Castleton went 6-of-12 from the floor and 3-of-4 from long range, but Endicott managed to add a pair of points to its lead to take a 26-22 edge into the break.
Castleton came out of the locker room firing in the third quarter, opening the frame on a 9-2 run that featured points from four different Spartans and gave Castleton a 31-28 edge. The two sides traded baskets the remainder of the quarter, as the Spartans took a 41-38 lead to the final frame.
Each side battled over the final stanza, as Endicott took a 45-43 lead less than three minutes into the fourth. Castleton regained the edge on a three from Medic, but it was short-lived as the Gulls knotted the game up on a free throw by Pratt. After a Medic free throw put Castleton up one, Endicott pushed ahead with a layup from Shannon Gilbert, making it 48-47 in favor of the Gulls. A 7-0 run by the Spartans that featured five points from Raiche gave Castleton the lead for good, putting the Spartans on top 54-48 with just 1:32 to play. An old-fashioned three-point play by Endicott's Pratt narrowed the edge to just three points, but the Gulls drew no closer as Castleton finished out the contest with a 55-51 win.
The Spartans return to the hardwood on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. against host Salem State.