CASTLETON, Vt. – Maine Maritime Academy women's basketball fought back from an 11-point deficit to upset the top-seeded Castleton University, 57-49 on Friday night in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Semifinals inside of Glenbrook Gymnasium.
The fourth seeded Mariners improve to 20-7 overall, and will face the winner of the second semifinal matchup between Husson University and Colby-Sawyer College, in the NAC Championship game tomorrow at 2:00 pm. The Spartans conclude their season at 21-5 overall.
The two teams fought back-and-forth in the first quarter, but the Spartans hit three pointers on their final two possessions to take a 19-15 advantage into the second quarter.
Castleton scored seven-unanswered points to open up the second quarter, and took an 11-point lead into the final 2:23 of the half. The Mariners fought back and scored seven-unanswered points of their own, to cut the deficit to 26-22 entering halftime.
Caitlin Kane (Wilton, Maine) hit a jumper and Alayne Felix (Mahopac, N.Y.) made a pair from the line to tie the game at 26-26 early in the third quarter, and the two teams exchanged the lead, until the Spartans went on a six-point run to take a 36-30 lead at 2:46. The Mariners scored five-unanswered points to close out the third quarter and entered the fourth quarter down by one (36-35).
The Mariners outscored the Spartans 22-13 in the fourth quarter, using a six-point run sparked by a layup from Felix at 3:27, to take a 46-40 lead with 2:10 to play. The Spartans closed the gap to five points, but the Mariners went 9-for-10 from the line in the final minute to secure the victory.
Felix scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Mariners, while also recording seven rebounds, four steals, two assists and two blocks. Megan McLean (Eliot, Maine) tallied 12 points, six rebounds, two steals and an assist, while Mikayla Charters (Newport, Maine) chipped in with eight points, three steals, two rebounds, an assist and a block and Melinda Ogden (Searsport, Maine) also pulled down seven rebounds, while adding four points, one assist and one steal.
Makayla Farrara led the Spartans with 14 points, two rebounds and an assist, Brooke Raiche added nine points, one assist and one steal, and Emilee Bose added six rebounds and three points.
The Mariners shot 40.8 percent from the floor, while the Spartans shot 38.5 percent. Maine Maritime held a 32-30 edge in rebounds. The victory is the first for the Mariners over Castleton since February 19, 2010.