RPI deals women’s hoop first setback
TROY, N.Y. — Host Rensselaer on Thursday deal the Middlebury College women’s basketball team its first loss of the year, 50-47. The Engineers snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 4-4, while the Panthers dropped to 3-1.
The Panthers will conclude first-semester play with three home games this week, vs. Colby-Sawyer on Tuesday at 7 p.m., vs. Clarkson on Wednesday at 6 p.m., and vs. Skidmore on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Thursday’s defensive struggle at RPI was tied 33-33 after three quarters and the teams continued to trade baskets in the fourth quarter. With the score tied 42-42, RPI got a layup from Shaina Iton with 2:55 to play and two free throws from Sam Krumbhaar within a minute for a lead (46-42) that the Engineers would not relinquish.
After Betsy Knox hit a jumper to pull the Panthers to within two points (46-44), Krumbhaar made three more from the foul line to make it 49-44. A three-point play from Panther center Catherine Harrison pulled Middlebury to within 49-47 with seven seconds remaining, but RPI’s Elizabeth Eckhardt made a free throw and then stole the ball after her missed second shot to seal the win.
Both teams struggled to make shots and to hang onto the ball. Middlebury hit 14 of 49 shots (28.6 percent) and committed 29 turnovers, while RPI converted 16 of 54 (.296) attempts and turned the ball over 20 times. Middlebury stayed close by hitting more free throws (17-12), blocking more shots (9-6), and outrebounding the Engineers (41-35).
Eckhardt was a rare player to shoot over .500 on the day, making seven of 12 shots from the field to finish with a game-high 20 points.
For Middlebury, Harrison finished with 17 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, plus four blocked shots. Alex Huffman added seven points, seven rebounds, five steals and three assists. Knox had five points, eight rebounds and three blocks.