The Terriers passed the ball into junior Mallorie Blakney. She was fouled and was sent to the line. With the pressure mounting, she missed the first shot. She gained her composure before the second shot, though, and sank it, giving Thomas College a 1-point lead with eight seconds to go. The Spartans took possession and passed the ball to Christine Jaques, who dribbled the down court. Jaques shot a 10-foot jumper, hoping to take the lead on a buzzer beater, but the shot was swatted away by Blakney, sealing the 71-70 loss on Jan. 30.
Jassmine Matos proved to be a bright spot in the loss as she reached a double-double with 26 points, three of which came off of a game-tying shot from behind the arc with 11 seconds left in overtime, and 13 rebounds. Unfortunately for the Spartans, Thomas had its own 26-point scorer in Kellie Martel.
The Spartans won the rebound battle, grabbing 30 rebounds compared to the Terriers 11.
Despite Saturday’s loss, the Castleton women’s basketball team has started to become a threat in the North Atlantic Conference. With a win coming against Green Mountain College on January 26th, the Spartans gave themselves a shot at getting a bye in the NAC tournament.
The Spartans have brought everyone back from the first semester and have used the bench numerous times this year. Ten players on the Spartan roster have played over 11 games this year, and eight of them are averaging over 16 minutes a game.
“A lot of the players contributed in the first half of the season and have overlapped into the second half of our year,” said head coach Tim Barrett.
Despite losing two 1,000 point scorers, the Spartans have packed a punch in this year’s team. Sophomores Vanessa Powers and Jaques are averaging over 10 points a game. Senior Katie Hoxie leads the team in assists with 72 on the year. Junior Megan Johnson has been pounding the boards, averaging 6.6 rebounds a game.
Even with the recent crushing loss fresh in their minds, the Spartans are ready to contend for the NAC Championship this year.
“Since we are the defending NAC champions, every team we play are going to compete hard against us” said Johnson.
With one month left in the regular season, the Spartans are preparing for every team that stands in the middle of their road to the NAC Championship. Right now the Spartans are in fourth place in the NAC with a 4-3 conference record and a 10-8 record overall.
Castleton will play Lyndon State on Saturday Feb. 6 at 2:00 pm.