Women’s basketball takes Smith tourney

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. — The Middlebury College women’s basketball team this past weekend rode big scoring performances and solid defense and rebounding to a pair of wins at Smith College’s season-opening tournament.
In Sunday’s final, Panther freshman Sarah Kaufman scored 32 points as the Panthers defeated Smith, 67-50, and in Saturday’s first-round game, Elizabeth Knox netted a career-high 29 points as the Panthers defeated Endicott, 67-46, in their opener.
Vs. Smith, Kaufman’s effort included hitting 20 of 22 free throws, with the 20 points from the line a new program record. Smith took an early 11-10 lead, but ran into foul trouble. Free throws and consecutive threes by Knox helped the Panthers take a 27-17 lead, and a Kaufman three at the halftime buzzer made it 39-28, Middlebury.
The closest Smith came the rest of the way was eight points. Knox posted her first double-double of the season (double-digit points and double-digit rebounds) and the fourth of her career with 19 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Alexis Coolidge chipped in with seven points, eight rebounds and four steals. The Panthers earned a 40-28 edge on the boards and limited the Pioneers to 30.8 percent shooting.
On Saturday, Middlebury burst to a 14-0 lead and were up, 30-17, at the half. The Panthers maintained a double-digit lead throughout the second half and led by as many as 25.
Knox went 11 for 17 from the floor and added five rebounds in the win. Kaufman added 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Sabrina Weeks netted eight with 10 boards. Coolidge added eight points with five assists, while Rachel Crews pulled down eight boards. The Panther defense held Endicott to 22.5 percent shooting from the floor.

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