Women’s hoop team uses runs to tip Chargers

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College women’s basketball team coasted past visiting Colby-Sawyer on Tuesday, 65-44, improving to 4-1 heading into a Wednesday contest vs. Clarkson played after the deadline for this edition of the Independent.
The Panthers will wrap up first-semester play on Saturday when they host Skidmore as part of a doubleheader with the men’s basketball team. The Panther men (5-1 heading into a Wednesday game at Southern Vermont) will meet the Thoroughbreds at 4 p.m. in Pepin Gymnasium as they also conclude pre-holiday action.
On Tuesday, two runs by the Panther women proved decisive. Middlebury went on an 18-5 surge in the second quarter using points from six Panthers, including five from Colleen Caveney, to extend a 15-12 lead to 33-17.
A late Charger hoop by Tiana Sugars made it 33-19 at the break, and Colby-Sawyer then scored the first five points of the second half to cut the Middlebury lead to nine at 33-24.
The Panthers responded with a 9-0 surge capped by a Catherine Harrison layup to take a 40-24 advantage with 5:50 to go in the third, and they maintained at least a double-digit lead the rest of the way. The lead peaked at 23 (58-35) on a layup from Caveney with 8:47 left in the fourth quarter.
Caveney, who now leads the Panthers with 11.0 points per game, paced a balanced Middlebury attack with a season-best 18 points, while Knox, a freshman making her first start, scored 17 points and hauled in a game-high eight boards. Rachel Collins chipped in with 10 points off the bench, and Harrison scored eight points and tied Knox for game-high honors with eight rebounds. Harrison leads the Panthers in rebounding at 8.4 per game.
Lily Kuntz added eight points and five rebounds off the bench in 21 minutes, while Huffman contributed six rebounds, six assists and three steals. Junior guard Sarah Kaufman, the team’s leading scorer the past two season, continued to struggle to find her shooting touch, making one of eight shots from the field after a 0-for-11 day at RPI last week.
Sugars led the 5-2 Chargers with 13 points to go with seven rebounds. The Panther defense limited the Chargers to 28.6 percent shooting.

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