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Panther women’s hoop drops home game

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College women’s basketball on Saturday saw its 27-23 halftime lead over visiting Emmanuel vanish early in the second half as the Saints spoiled the Panthers’ home opener with a 65-43 win at Pepin Gym.
The Panthers, who are without senior Scarlett Kirk during the women’s soccer team’s postseason run, will host Castleton State on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
Emmanuel (4-1) came into the game having hit just one of 23 three-point attempts, but went five of 14 from long distance on Saturday, part of the Saints’ overall 29-of-54 performance from the field. Meanwhile, they held the Panthers (1-2) to 14-for-50 shooting.
The Panthers held a 19-8 advantage midway through the first half behind eight points from Sarah Marcus, including a pair of threes, while Siobhan O’Sullivan added seven more. The Saints rallied with an 8-0 burst, highlighted by threes from Shania Rentie and Jessica Halford.
Marcus scored the next six points for a 25-16 Panther cushion before another Emmanuel three, this one from Devin Rauh, at 4:47. The Saints then crept to within 27-23 at the break.
Rentie hit Emmanuel’s fourth three to open the second half to make it a one-point game. That trey jump-started a 15-1 run for the Saints as the Panthers missed their first eight shots and committed four turnovers. Finally, Katie Pett converted a traditional three-point play at 13:37, setting the score at 38-31 for the visitors.
Emmanuel’s Liz Daley answered Pett’s three points with another trey to trigger a 13-3 run that made it 51-34, Emmanuel, with 6:44 left on the way to the 65-43 final.
Marcus finished with a Middlebury-best 16 points, while Pett finished with seven points and five rebounds. O’Sullivan finished with seven, and Laura Lowry added six points and a team-high five assists.
Twelve points apiece from Jennifer Bujnowski and Lena Negri highlighted the Saints’ scoring, and the duo netted 20 of their combined 24 points in the decisive second half.

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