CASTINE, Maine – Senior guard Christine Jaques (Burlington, Vt.) scored 15 of her game-high 18 points after intermission as Castleton overcame a four-point deficit to earn a 61-56 North Atlantic Conference women's basketball win over Maine Maritime Academy Friday evening at Smith Gymnasium.
The Spartans have now won nine-straight games to improve to 15-4 overall and 12-1 in conference play. The Mariners fall to 9-10, 6-6.
Jaques added five rebounds and four assists with no turnovers in 38 minutes of high-leverage action at point guard, canning 4-of-9 from long distance. Alyssa Leonard (Amherst, Mass.) followed with 14 points, while Tarryn Bolognani (Whitingham, Vt.) added a dozen. Vanessa Powers (Marshfield, Vt.) grabbed a team-high eight rebounds for the Spartans.
Sam Goda (Eliot, Maine) led Maine Maritime with 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting, while Leah Jackson Dedham, Maine) added 13 and Bekah Campbell (Corinth, Maine) chipped in 10 points and eight boards off the bench.
In what has proven to be the standard for the match-up, the game was physical from start-to-finish and featured nine ties and nine lead changes.
The teams went back-and-forth over the opening 20 minutes, with the Mariners maintaining the lead over the final seven before the half. Jackson scored five-straight points to give the home squad its biggest lead of the game, 24-16 with 1:25 left before halftime. Castleton's Leonard closed out the half with a lay-up, a steal and another lay-up to pull the Spartans within four at the interval.
Castleton extended its run, scoring the first nine points of the second half, fueled by four points from Powers and a three from Jaques to grab a 29-24 lead two minutes into the half.
The Mariners erased the lead by the 13:54 mark, and took the lead back after a Castleton offensive foul and Goda lay-up on the other end. Neither team led by more than six the rest of the way, with the final 12 minutes featuring five ties.
Castleton grabbed a 54-48 lead on a Leonard lay-up with 3:15 left, but a Courtney Dufour (Augusta, Maine) trifecta, followed by a three the old fashioned way by Goda erased the deficit and drew the Mariners even with under two minutes left. The teams traded perfect trips to the free throw line for the final tie at 56-56 with 1:08 left, and the Mariners holding possession.
Maine Maritime got a good look at a three, but the rebound caromed long and the Spartans were out and running with a Mariner down due to injury. As play continued a Jaques missed three, and subsequent Bolognani put back ended with an intentional foul call giving Castleton a two-point lead, two free-throws and the ball with 18.5 seconds left. Bolognani made one-of-two, and on the inbounds Jaques was fouled and made good on both attempts to seal the win.
The Spartans finished the game 20-for-33 from the free throw line and forced 20 Mariner turnovers to aid the victory.
Both teams return to action tomorrow at 1 pm with Castleton traveling to Husson, and the Mariners hosting Green Mountain.