FARMINGTON, Maine – Castleton State College women's basketball shot a scorching 52.6 percent from the field in the second half while clamping a defensive lid on the University of Maine at Farmington, to break open a one-possession game at the intermission and cruise to a 91-60 win over the host Beavers, in North Atlantic Conference action Saturday afternoon at Dearborn Gym.
Castleton State improved to 21-3 overall and 16-1 in the NAC with the win, clinching the number one seed for the upcoming NAC Tournament.
UMaine-Farmington fell to 8-8 in the conference with the loss, 9-14 overall. The Beavers remain tied with New England College for fifth place in the league standings.
The Spartans were 20-of-38 from the field in the second half, led by Liz Douglass' 13 points in the second stanza alone. Castleton scored 10 straight points to open the frame, including four by Douglass and four more by Alyssa Leonard.
The Beavers, meanwhile, missed eight of their first nine shot attempts of the half, as the Spartans pulled away with the lead. UMaine-Farmington finished with a .250 shooting percentage in the second half, and 40.8 percent (20-of-49) for the game.
UMaine-Farmington rallied from a 10-point deficit in the first half, turning the contest into a one-possession game at the intermission.
Trailing 25-15 with 10:56 showing in the first half, senior Holly Oliver started the rally with a 3-pointer. Bridget Humphrey, Meghan Smith, Ayla Allen, and Lindsay Ranquist all contributed buckets during the run, with the Beavers finally pulling to within one, 29-28, with 6:29 remaining in the half on a Smith layup.
Farmington eventually took a 32-31 lead at the 4:50 mark on a pair of Allen foul shots, but Castleton answered with a Shelby LaBarge layup and a pair of Jade Desroches free throws to regain the lead. UMF would cut the lead back down to one point in the final four minutes, but the Spartans clung to their slim lead for the remainder of the half.
Desroches led Castleton offensively with 26 points on a 9-of-17 effort from the floor, while Douglass and Meghan O'Sullivan cracked double digits with 19 and 10 points respectively. Douglass also grabbed a team high seven rebounds, and both Douglass and Desroches dished out four assists.
Castleton shot 50.0 percent (37-of-74) for the game, and connected on nine 3-pointers.
Ranquist finished with team highs of 15 points and six rebounds for UMaine-Farmington, while Allen charted 11 points.
UMaine-Farmington travels to Bangor, Maine, on Wednesday, Feb. 19, to face arch-rival Husson University, while Castleton closes out the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 22, when it hosts Green Mountain College.