CASTLETON, Vermont – Senior Kimberly Howrigan (Fairfield, Vermont/Bellows Free Academy) scored a career-high 20 points to lead three players in double-figures as the University of Southern Maine Huskies used a strong second-half effort to defeat the Castleton University Spartans 65-55 in a Little East Conference women's basketball game Saturday at Glenbrook Gym.
With the win, Southern Maine improves to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the Little East Conference. The loss drops Castleton to 5-2 overall and 1-1 in the LEC.
Howrigan was lights out from the field, making 7-of-12, including 4-of-6 from three point range. She added four rebounds. Senior Alexa Srolovitz (Montreal, Quebec/New Hampton School) added 15 points, three rebounds, two steals and an assist, while sophomore Kristen Curley (Gorham, Maine) added a season-high 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Junior Chantel Eells (Turner, Maine/Leavitt) had eight points, all in the second half, and grabbed five rebounds and passed off three assists.
Alexis Quenneville led all scorers with 21 points for the Spartans, sinking 7-of-13 from three. She added six rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot. Brooke Raiche tossed in 10 points as the only other Castleton player in double figures, adding four assists. Katlyn Toomey added six points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
With both teams shooting 50 percent from three-point range in the first quarter, Castleton held a slim 20-19 lead heading into the second. Quenneville had nine points to lead the way for the Spartans, while Srolovitz had seven. Led by five points from Curley, the Huskies outscored Castleton 14-13 in the second quarter and both teams headed into the half knotted up at 33.
The game remained closely play in the third, and USM trailed 38-37 after a layup from Raiche gave the Spartans the lead with 5:48 to play. However, the Huskies responded with a 12-0 run over the next four and a half minutes to take control 49-38. Eells and Curley each scored four points in the pivotal run. The Spartans' Raiche banked in a three as time expired to send Castleton into the fourth down 49-41.
The Huskies opened the fourth on an 11-1 run to take their biggest lead of the game 60-42 with 6:32. Eells started the run with a bucket in the paint, before Howrigan took over rattling off seven unanswered points on a layup, three-point, and a jumper. Srolovitz scored the final basket of the run on a driving layup. Back-to-back threes from Quenneville and a layup from Shay Mosher pulled Castleton to within 10, 60-50, with 4:13 to go, but Srolovitz canned a three, and Eells made a strong move in the paint for five straight points from the Huskies to go up by 15, 65-50, with just over a minute to go to seal the win. CU closed the game in the final seconds with three free throws and a layup for the 65-55 final.
Southern Maine shot 47.2 percent (25-for-53) from the field and 42.9 percent (9-for-21) from three-point range. Castleton shot 20-for-51 for 39.2 percent shooting and 9-for-25 from three for a 36.0 percent rage. The Spartans outrebounded Southern Maine 36-25.
Southern Maine returns to action on Wednesday (5:30 p.m.) at home and will host Little East Conference opponent Plymouth State University.