Middlebury women split hoop games

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College women’s basketball split two recent games, picking up a key NESCAC result on the road on Saturday before losing a non-league game on Monday. The Panthers stand at 13-5, 3-2 in league play. That NESCAC mark is good for sole possession of fourth place. Middlebury will next host league rival Trinity at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
On Saturday the Panthers held off a late rally by host Williams (10-8, 2-3) to earn a 57-54 NESCAC victory. Middlebury bolted to an early lead and maintained an advantage throughout. The Panthers led by 25-11 after one period and 33-27 at the half.
After scoring the final six points of the third period, the Panthers entered the fourth up by 48-35. A Sarah Kaufman three-pointer 20 seconds into the fourth quarter made it 51-35, but the Ephs outscored the Panthers by 14-4 over the next six minutes to make it 55-51 with 1:32 remaining. 
Williams moved to within two at 56-54 on a three-pointer at 0:19, but after a Middlebury free throw the Ephs missed a three-pointer with four seconds to go.
Davis led the Panthers with 12 points and eight rebounds, while Betsy Knox and Kira Waldman added 11 points each. Point guard Alex Huffman grabbed seven rebounds to go along with five points and four assists.
Kristin Fechtelkotter led the Ephs with 16 points and seven blocks.
On Monday visiting non-league foe Smith toppled the Panthers, 60-45. Smith improved to 13-4 with a wire-to-wire win. The Pioneers led after one period, 17-8, and at the half, 33-24, before the Panthers used three-pointers from Maya Davis and Sabrina Weeks to pull to within 40-36 after three periods.
A Davis layup made it 40-38 to open the fourth quarter, but the Pioneers responded with a 14-3 run over the next 6:31 to deal the Panthers their first home loss of the winter.
Weeks led the Panthers with 13 points, while Davis netted nine and had seven rebounds. Colleen Caveney chipped in with seven points and had five assists.
Lauren Bondi led the Pioneers with 17 points, while Kennedy Guest-Pritch reached the 1,000-point career landmark with her 12 points and six rebounds for Smith.

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