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Women’s hoop to host a NESCAC quarterfinal

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College women’s basketball team split two NESCAC home games this past weekend as the Panthers’ regular season concluded. It was an effort good enough to earn the program its second-straight home playoff quarterfinal.
The fourth-seeded Panthers (17-7, 6-4 NESCAC) will host No. 5 Wesleyan (16-7, 5-5) on Saturday at 3 p.m. Middlebury defeated Wesleyan at home earlier this season, 77-60. The Panthers will be trying to win the program’s third home NESCAC playoff game and first since 2013. They earned the No. 4 seed and a home quarterfinal in 2017, but were upset by No. 5 Colby.
The Panthers clinched the No. 4 seed by rallying past visiting Hamilton on this past Friday, 53-44. The Panthers trailed by as many as 11 in the opening quarter and trailed after one period, 17-7, and at the half, 24-18.
Then Hamilton’s Lauren Getman hit a three-pointer to make it 27-18 to open the second half. But the Panthers went on a 14-2 run over the next eight minutes by limiting the Continentals to one hoop from the floor and forcing nine turnovers. Middlebury gained its first lead on a three by Sarah Kaufman at 3:30 showing on the clock, and a late Catherine Harrison free throw made it 37-33 entering the fourth quarter.
Hamilton sliced the deficit to one 41-40 with 6:44 left on a jumper by Mia Caterisano. The Panthers went on a game-clinching 7-0 run over the next 5:30, making it 48-40 on a pair of Maya Davis free throws by Davis at 1:14. Middlebury then hit five of six from the line to nail down the win.
Harrison paced the Panthers with a season-best 13 points, while Sabrina Weeks added 10 points and four steals. Davis tallied nine points and seven rebounds, while Colleen Caveney chipped in with seven points, seven rebounds and three assists. Lily Kuntz added five points and three blocked shots. Kaufman finished with five points, giving her 1,055 for her career and moving her into sixth place in program history. Getman scored 16 points to go along with seven rebounds. 
On Saturday first-place Amherst, the top-ranked team in NCAA Division III at 24-0, coasted past the host Panthers, 68-41. The Mammoths led by 25-15 at the half and opened the second half with a 13-5 surge and led by as many as 26 in the third period.
Kuntz paced the Panthers with 11 points and three steals, while Davis added nine points. Weeks chipped in with six points and a pair of blocked shots, while Emily Wander knocked down two threes in eight minutes of action. Kira Waldman added five points and five rebounds.
Hannah Fox led four Mammoths in double figures with 16 points to go along with eight rebounds. Hannah Hackley added 15 points.

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