Middlebury College women’s hoop wins tourney

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The Middlebury College women’s basketball team followed up a tournament title earned in Springfield, Mass., on Dec. 30 and 31, with a road loss on Tuesday.
The 8-2 Panthers open NESCAC play this Friday and Saturday with games at Wesleyan and Connecticut.
On Dec. 31, the Panthers rallied past Roger Williams in the Hampton Inn West Springfield/Naismith Classic final to win, 52-47. Middlebury went on a 16-5 run over the final 5:07 to defeat the Hawks (5-4) and record their fifth straight win.
Panther guard Sarah Kaufman was selected as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, finishing the two contests with 35 points, including 21 in the championship game and a game-winning three-pointer in the first round. Colleen Caveney (32 points, nine rebounds, six steals in two games) also made the all-tournament team.
Roger Williams took an 18-17 halftime lead in a defensive first half, and the Hawks took a 34-31 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Hawks grabbed their largest lead of the contest, 42-36, with 5:07 remaining. But a 9-2 run over the next four minutes, capped off by a Caveney fastbreak layup, gave the Panthers the lead for good at 45-44 at 0:56. In the final minute Middlebury hit seven of eight free throws, including four by Betsy Knox.
In addition to Kaufman’s 21, Catherine Harrison scored 14 points to go along with eight rebounds. Caveney added seven points, six rebounds and four steals, while Alex Huffman grabbed nine boards to go with four points. Bridget Quilty led Roger Williams with 17 points and seven rebounds.
On Dec. 30, Kaufman hit an off-balance three as time expired as Middlebury edged Springfield, 60-57. The Pride (6-4) led by 28-26 at the break and by six early in the third quarter before a 12-2 run put the Panthers on top, 38-34. The Pride responded with an 8-0 run and stretched their advantage to 50-43 after three periods.
Offense slowed in the fourth. A Caveney jumper cut the lead to five (50-45) before neither team scored for more than five minutes. Finally, two Huffman threes helped Middlebury tie the game at 55-55 with 1:25 to go.
Alex Goslin gave Springfield the lead, but a Knox hoop tied it at 57-57 at 0:19. Springfield missed, and the Panthers called time at 0:03, and Kaufman’s long-range buzzer-beater found the net.
Caveney’s career-high 25 points led all scorers, followed by Kaufman with 14 and Huffman with eight points and seven rebounds. Maya Davis added seven points and 10 rebounds, and Harrison grabbed eight boards. Gracie Restituyo led Springfield with 15 points.
On Tuesday, host Smith (8-3) outscored the Panthers by 17-4 in the decisive second quarter on the way to a 64-48 victory. Smith led at the half, 27-14, and Middlebury came no closer than 12 points after the break.
Caveney and Kira Waldman led the Panthers with 15 points apiece, and Waldman added five rebounds. Harrison had eight points and five rebounds for the Panthers, while Davis pulled down a team-best six rebounds and Lily Kuntz added five.
Kennedy Guest-Pritchett paced Smith with game-high totals of 16 points and eight rebounds.

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