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Panther women’s basketball takes three of four games

NEW YORK — The Middlebury College women’s basketball team opened post-holiday break play with three wins in four games, losing only to nationally ranked New York University on Sunday. The 6-3 Panthers will open league play this weekend by hosting Wesleyan on Friday at 7 p.m. and Connecticut on Saturday at 3 p.m.
On Tuesday, the Panthers forced 18 turnovers and held a 54-37 edge on the boards in a 68-43 win over visiting Anna Maria. Catherine Harrison led the Panthers by recording her sixth double-double in nine games, 14 points and 14 rebounds. 
With the game tied at 9-9 in the first quarter, Middlebury went on a 7-0 spurt and never relinquished the lead. The Panthers led at the half, 34-17, when Sarah Kaufman drained a shot from just inside the mid-court stripe at the buzzer, and by as many as 27 after the break.
Kaufman led all scorers with 17 points, including hitting five of eight attempts from three-point range, and Rachel Collins scored a dozen. Eileen Daley grabbed nine boards, and Alex Huffman finished with five points, five rebounds and six assists. Christina Gauvin led Anna Maria (6-6) with 11 points, three assists and three steals. 
On Sunday, host New York University, at 10-0 the No. 4 team in NCAA Division III, pulled away in the fourth quarter in a 70-62 victory over Middlebury that was part of the NYU Holiday Classic. 
The Panthers led at the half, 34-32, but trailed by as many as seven in the third before closing to within 51-48 entering the fourth. NYU then took charge with a 7-0 run, and Middlebury came no closer than five points the rest of the way.
Kaufman led with 15 points to go along with three assists, while Huffman finished with a season-best 14 points and Sabrina Weeks had 13 and five rebounds off the bench. Colleen Caveney chipped in with nine points, while Harrison added six points and six boards. Kaitlyn Read notched 25 points and six boards for the Violets.
On Saturday in the NYU tournament’s first round, the Panthers used a 28-13 fourth-quarter advantage to topple Bridgewater State, 72-59.
The 2-7 Bears led at the half, 36-27, and still led after three, 46-44. Middlebury took the lead at 48-46, but fell behind by 55-51 with 5:01 to play before taking charge.
A decisive 12-0 run began with a three-point field goal from Weeks and ended with a Huffman layup at 1:45. The Panthers then went six for six from the line in the final 33 seconds to seal the win.
Harrison led all scorers with a career-high 23 points to go along with a game-high 11 rebounds. She also added four assists and a pair of blocked shots. Kaufman scored 19 points, Weeks chipped in 10 with six boards, while Caveney added seven points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals. Jennie Linland paced Bridgewater with 18 points.
Middlebury shot 47.5 percent from the floor and held a 47-29 advantage on the boards.
On Dec. 27, the Panthers eased past visiting Salve Regina (3-7), scoring a season high in points and shooting 50 percent in a 79-58 victory.
Middlebury never trailed after scoring the opening five points and led by 43-26 at the half and by 65-38 after three periods.
Harrison scored 20 points to go along with a game-high 12 rebounds. Kaufman finished with 18 points, while Weeks chipped in with nine and both Huffman and Amanda Bayer netted eight. Salve Regina’s Meaghan Harden led all players with 29 points.

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