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Panther women’s basketball wins twice, once in dramatic fashion

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College women’s basketball team won a pair of home games this past weekend to close first-semester play with a 6-2 record. The Panthers will return to action after the holiday break with a Jan. 3 game at Anna Maria. Their NESCAC schedule begins with home games on Jan. 9 and 11 vs. Bates and Tufts, respectively.
On Saturday, Middlebury rallied in regulation and in overtime to beat visiting Skidmore, 66-63. Trailing by 15 points at the break, Middlebury clamped down on the 1-4 Thoroughbreds in the second half and forced overtime when Sarah Kaufman drove to the hoop for the game-tying basket at the buzzer.
Skidmore scored the final seven points of the first half to lead by 35-20 at the break. The Thoroughbreds held a double-digit lead early in the second half before the Panther shooters came alive. 
A three from Krystina Reynolds and two hoops from Elizabeth Knox started the rally, and a Sabrina Weeks’ lay-up tied the game, 42-42, at 8:39. The Panthers took their first lead of the game, 51-49, when Knox sank a pair of free throws with 1:58 left.
The Panther lead grew to four points, but Kelly Donnelly’s three-point-play made it 53-52 at 0:37. Skidmore then forced a turnover and Lindsey Davis sank a three-pointer from the wing, giving the visitors a 55-53 lead at 0:25.
After a Panther miss and Skidmore rebound, the Thoroughbreds had a chance to expand their lead, but missed the front end of a one-and-one. Middlebury rebounded, leading to Kaufman’s tying hoop.
In the extra period, Skidmore again took a lead on a pair of buckets. The Panthers went back on top when Knox again sank a pair from the free throw line to make it 60-59 at 1:39. Knox followed with a basket to make it 62-59, and soon afterward hit a key layup that made it 65-61 at 0:21.
Skidmore’s Angela Botiba’s offensive rebound made it 65-63 at 0:08, and Skidmore fouled Weeks, who hit one of two free throws for a 66-63 lead. A three from Skidmore then missed at the buzzer.
Alexis Coolidge led all scorers with 15 points, while Knox added 14 and grabbed 14 rebounds. Rachel Crews added 11 points and nine boards.
Donnelly paced the Thoroughbreds with 14 points and 14 rebounds, while Botiba netted 13 and hauled in 13 caroms.
On Friday, Middlebury had an easier time of it in a 70-52 win over visiting Alfred State (4-3). The Panthers led by 31-18 at the half and by as many as 19 after the break.
Knox led all scorers with 22 points, while collecting a dozen rebounds. Crews finished with 16 points, including four three-pointers, while Weeks added 13 and Coolidge grabbed a team-best 14 caroms. Five Panthers had multiple assists, led by Kaufman’s five helpers.

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