Kaleigh Anderson (@KaleighAnd1)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College women's basketball team fell to the visiting Castleton Spartans, 62-28, in their 2016-17 season opener Tuesday evening at Picknelly Arena. With the loss the Blazers drop to 0-1 on the season, while the Spartans improve to 1-0 overall.
The Blazers started off the contest on a high note netting the first basket of the evening off of a senior Alexandra Marques (Newington, Conn.) defensive rebound that found its home off the backboard for the quick two. From there, Castleton would even the score as junior Taylor Raiche (Ira, Vt.) tallied her first score of the night off of a junior Ashley Fay (Monkton, Vt.) pass from outside the arch. The Spartans would go on a ten-point stint headed by Raiche as she went 2-for-2 from the floor to aid in the Spartan lead. The Blazers fought back going on an 11 to 2 run of their own headed by five different players including four points off the hands of Marques to send Elms into the second quarter owning a 13-12 advantage.
The Spartans began to hone in on their outside shooting within the second starting things off with a junior Makayla Farrara (Shaftsbury, Vt.) three that sparked an 11-point Castleton run where junior Amanda Beatty (Williston, Vt.) capitalized inside the paint totaling three for the Spartan advantage. The Blazers kept pushing exploiting Castleton fouls to tally scores from the charity stripe, adding six of their eight points from the line to remain close as the second came to a close with Castleton owning the 28-21 scoreboard.
Despite Elms momentum Castleton kept spreading their lead totaling twenty points within the quarter while keeping the Blazers off the board. Farrara totaled seven points in the quarter for the Spartans.
The Blazers regained confidence in the fourth totaling seven points throughout the quarter headed by momentum building after a junior Mackenzie LaRochelle (Chicopee, Mass.) three that rang loud throughout Picknelly arena. Freshmen Samantha Lynes (Berlin, Conn.) closed out the scoring efforts for the Elms squad netting a jumper with 53 seconds remaining in regulation, however Castleton would walk away with the victory.
LaRochelle and Marques led the Blazers with five points apeice, while Marques led in rebounds with eight on the evening.
The Spartans were paced by game-high scorer Beatty who collected 17 points going 5- for-7 on the floor while collecting eight rebounds. Raiche grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds with nine points, while Farrara tallied 10 points and two rebounds in the effort.
The Spartans edged the Blazers in rebounds (46-29) and bench points (14-13). The Blazers totaled 18.0% from the field (9-50), including 7.7% from the three-point line (1-13), and 64.3% from the foul line (9-14). Castleton shot 41.1% from the floor (23-56), 31.3% from three point range (5-16), and 68.8% from the foul line (11-16).
The Blazers will travel to Johnson State for a non- conference matchup November 19th at 5 p.m. Castleton will play host to Plymouth State November 22nd with a 5:30 p.m. start time.