LEBANON, Tenn. – Castleton University got off to a slow start offensively, and 12th-ranked Ohio Northern took advantage, as the Polar Bears defeated the Spartans, 60-36, Thursday afternoon in the Music City Classic, hosted by Cumberland University at Dallas Floyd Gymnasium.
Neither team could put together significant offense in the first quarter, as Castleton was limited to a layup by Taylor Raiche and Ohio Northern hit just two three-pointers, both by Britt Lauck. The Spartans forced the Polar Bears into six turnovers in the first quarter.
Ohio Northern (10-0) got on track in the second quarter, scoring the first eight points of the period, including two more three-pointers from Lauck. After Makayla Farrara hit two free throws, the Polar Bears extended their lead thanks to a 10-1 scoring run, taking a 26-7 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Lauck hit her fifth three-pointer of the game as Ohio Northern scored the first seven points of the third quarter before Castleton scored seven unanswered points, starting with a traditional three-point play from Amanda Beatty. The Polar Bears ended the third quarter with a 14-2 scoring run, capped by a three-pointer from Jenna Dirksen.
Castleton outscored Ohio Northern in the fourth quarter, 18-11, as the Spartans hit 8-of-11 shots from the field during the final 10 minutes. Castleton went on a 10-2 scoring run midway through the fourth period to establish its final quarter scoring margin.
Beatty led the Spartans with nine points, while Farrara finished with seven points and three steals and Morgan Raiche pulled down a team-high seven rebounds. Castleton shot 50 percent from the field in the second half to improve its field goal percentage for the game to 30 percent (15-of-50), but the Spartans did not make a three-point shot in the game.
Lauck led Ohio Northern with 17 points, with Amy Bullimore contributing 11 points, four rebounds, and two blocked shots. The Polar Bears shot 46.8 percent (22-of-47) from the field, including 8-of-21 from behind the three-point line, won the rebounding battle (33-30), and scored 24 points off 15 Spartan turnovers.
Castleton (6-3) faces Marymount University Friday, Dec. 30, at 2 p.m. local time (3 p.m. Eastern time) on the campus of Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tenn.