The Castleton women’s basketball squad split its opening weekend in the Adrenaline Circuit Tip-Off at Keene State College. The Spartans fell to All-American Jessica Berry and the Utica College Pioneers 68-49 on Friday, Nov. 19. Utica is currently a leader on the bubble of teams to crack the Top 25 in the nation.
Berry had a game-high 21 points and added a team-high 10 rebounds.
Meaghan Fiore was also strong for the Pioneers shooting eight for 10 from the field for 17 points.
Junior Vanessa Powers and freshman Alyssa Leonard led the Spartans with 17 and 10 points, respectively.
The Spartans bounced back from the loss to beat the University of Maine-Fort Kent in the consolation game on Saturday, Nov. 20 by a score of 67-45 on another strong performance from Leonard.
The freshman had her first career double-double shooting seven of 17 from the field for a game-high 16 points and also recorded 11 boards.
Head coach Tim Barrett said the team was obviously not happy with the result of the tournament, but he also said there were certainly positives to take away.
Those included the individual performances of Leonard, Powers, and Megan Johnson, who had 12 points in the Fort Kent win.
“We allowed Utica to control the tempo of play,” said Barrett. “At times it was the same against [Fort Kent].”
Barrett is optimistic for the future of the Spartans, but he said he knows where improvement is needed.
“We have some new pieces,” said Barrett. “It’s going to take us time to come together. We need to do a better job of establishing rhythm offensively. We struggled with that in both games.”
That rhythm will need to be found quickly because the Spartans are in action tonight for their home opener against Plymouth State University at 5:30 in the Spartan Athletic Complex.
“[Tonight’s] matchup should be a good game of basketball,” Barrett said.