NORTHFIELD, Vt. – In a defensive battle, Castleton University lost to Norwich University, 52-47, Tuesday night in a non-conference women's collegiate basketball game at Andrews Hall.
It took a while for either team to find a rhythm offensively, as the first points of the game did not come until Norwich's Kayla Mercer hit a three-pointer four minutes into the contest. A jumper by Alexis Quenneville with 41 seconds left gave Castleton a 6-4 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Norwich (6-3) went on a 15-4 scoring run in the second quarter, led by Mercer with two more three-pointers. Quenneville answered with her own three-pointer in the final minute of the second quarter, cutting the Cadets' lead to 22-15 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Ashlie Fay hit a three-pointer to cut the Castleton deficit to four at 26-22, but Norwich responded with a 9-1 scoring run, capped by two layups from Heather LeBlanc.
After Mercer hit a three-pointer one minute into the fourth quarter, Castleton scored six unanswered points to close to within seven at 40-33. Later in the half, the Spartans came even closer on a three-pointer by Lindsay Sabo and three made free throws from Makayla Farrara, but the Cadets hit 6-of-8 free throws in the final 30 seconds to hold off Castleton's rally.
Fay finished with nine points, seven rebounds, and two steals, while Farrara also scored nine points. Castleton was held to 25.5 percent (13-of-51) field goal shooting, including 4-of-15 from behind the three-point line, and 89.5 percent (17-of-19) from the free throw line.
Mercer hit five three-pointers as she led all players with 20 points, while LeBlanc finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, two steals, and two blocked shots. Norwich hit 31.8 percent (14-of-44) of its field goal attempts, including 6-of-16 from behind the three-point line, and 72.0 percent (18-of-25) from the free throw line.
Castleton (6-2) is off until Dec. 29, when it will travel to Nashville, Tenn., for the Music City Classic, taking on Ohio Northern and Marymount (Va.).