College women’s basketball opens with two victories
MADISON, N.J. — The Middlebury College women’s basketball team opened its season this past weekend by winning the Rose City Tip-Off Classic tournament hosted by Drew University, beating Wittenberg on Saturday and Shenandoah on Sunday.
The 2-0 Panthers were set to host Johnson on Tuesday night after the early deadline for this holiday edition of the Independent. Their next game will come on Dec. 1 at RPI.
On this past Sunday, the Panthers cruised past Shenandoah, 74-39, in the Rose City title game. Middlebury shot 52.7 percent from the floor and held a 40-14 rebounding advantage. Shenandoah fell to 2-1.
Middlebury took a 14-2 lead in the first 4:43 as center Catherine Harrison scored eight points. The Panthers led by 17-7 after one period and by as much as 33-11 before settling for a 37-15 advantage at halftime.
Middlebury opened the second half with threes from Colleen Caveney and Sarah Kaufman and coasted home from there.
Kaufman finished with 15 points to go along with five assists and earned tournament Most Valuable Player honors. Harrison finished with 10 points on Sunday and earned a spot on the all-tournament team. Caveney finished with 11 points, while Alex Huffman grabbed seven boards and had three steals. Rachel Collins and Betsy Knox each scored 10 points off the bench, while Lily Kuntz grabbed seven boards for the Panthers.
On Saturday, the Panthers earned a tougher 62-53 triumph over Wittenberg. The teams traded the lead a couple times in the first half before Vanessa Young scored late in the half to give Middlebury a 27-25 lead at the break. Kuntz hit two first-half treys for Middlebury.
Two Maya Davis hoops in the paint for Middlebury made it 35-30 with 6:28 left in the third, but the Tigers used a 7-2 run to tie the game at 41-41. Buckets by Huffman and Knox put the Panthers on top after three quarters, 45-41.
A Kaufman three-pointer and a Harrison lay-up made it a 50-41 to open the fourth. Wittenberg crept back to 52-50 with 3:26 to go, but a trey by Kaufman and a three-point play by Harrison helped the Panthers re-establish the lead, and then Kauffman and Davis iced the victory from the foul line.
Kaufman paced a balanced Middlebury attack with 14 points, and Davis finished with 10. Harrison recorded nine points and 10 rebounds, Kira Waldman chipped in with nine points, and Huffman dished out a game-high six assists.