CASTLETON, Vt. – UMaine-Farmington women's basketball spotted Castleton State College an 18-point lead before getting on the scoreboard and a second-half comeback came up short as the Beavers dropped a 67-55 decision to the Spartans, in both teams' North Atlantic Conference opener on Friday night at Glenbrook Gym.
Senior Kenni Norton (Strong, Maine/Mt. Abram) led the Beavers (0-5, 0-1 North Atlantic Conf.) with 15 points, including a 3-pointer at the 13:54 mark of the first half for UMF's first points of the game. Junior Holly Oliver (Belgrade Lakes, Maine/Messalonskee) netted 12 points and a team-high four rebounds.
Norton and freshman Ayla Allen (Rumford, Maine/Mountain Valley) each dished out three assists.
Castleton's Tarryn Bolognani scored 21 points and hauled down eight rebounds to lead the Spartans (5-0, 1-0 North Atlantic Conf.), while forward Meghan O'Sullivan charted 16 points.
O'Sullivan and Bolognani together accounted for 16 of Castleton's 18 points to open the game, which the Spartans parlayed into a 42-25 halftime lead.
A Kelsey Graffam (Falmouth, Maine/Falmouth) jumper kick-started a Farmington rally to open the second half, and after a pair of the Norton foul shots and an Oliver 3-pointer the Beavers pulled to within 10 points, 42-32, with 16:56 showing on the clock.
The Beavers' comeback effort continued with an Allen jumper and another Oliver trey to further cut the Castleton lead to five points with just over 12 minutes remaining, but UMF would get no closer. UMaine-Farmington went three minutes without scoring a point and five minutes without a bucket, while the Spartans went on a 12-0 run that ended with a 58-41 Castleton lead with just 7:22 left to play.
UMaine-Farmington shot 38.3% (18-of-47) from the field to Castleton's 40.7% (22-of-54), and were outrebounded 44 to 23. The biggest difference came at the free-throw line, where the Beavers shot a season-low 12-of-23 (.522). Castleton responded by going 20-of-23 (.870) at the charity stripe.
The Beavers complete their two-game NAC road trip on Saturday afternoon at Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vt. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.