Women’s basketball splits pair of games

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College women’s basketball team split two recent games, winning a non-league contest late last week at home before dropping a pivotal NESCAC road contest on Sunday.
The Panthers (17-3, 4-2 NESCAC), will host undefeated Bowdoin, the No. 1 team in NCAA Division III, at 7 p.m. on Friday before entertaining Colby at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Former Middlebury Union High School standout Keagan Dunbar has been starting for Colby (7-11, 1-5 NESCAC) as a freshman.
On Thursday, Jan. 24, the Panthers picked up a 66-50 win over visiting University of New England (9-10). UNE trailed by three at the break, 30-27. But Middlebury opened the second half with a 9-1 run and led by at least nine points for the rest of the game by holding the Nor’easters to 26 percent shooting from the floor and outrebounding them, 37-27. 
Colleen Caveney led the Panthers with 16 points and four steals, while Kira Waldman finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Maya Davis scored 11, and Catherine Harrison scored nine with 15 boards. Betsy Knox recorded eight points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots. Jocelyn Chaput paced UNE with 14 points and seven rebounds.
In Sunday’s key NESCAC contest host Trinity (16-4, 3-3 NESCAC) hung on for a 59-55 victory over the Panthers. The two teams are battling for the No. 4 seed and home advantage in a NESCAC quarterfinal. And Trinity has an easier schedule the rest of the way — the Bantams have already faced Bowdoin and third-place Amherst (17-2, 4-1 NESCAC). Middlebury must visit Amherst on Feb. 9 as well as Bowdoin this weekend.
In Sunday’s loss the Panthers hit just three of 20 three-point attempts, figures that included two late misses with a chance to tie the game before the Bantams sealed the win from the free-throw line.
The Panthers trailed by as many as nine in the first half before rallying to take a 44-42 lead in the third period’s final minute. But Trinity scored five points in the remainder of the period and maintained the lead throughout the fourth, although the Panthers cut it to 54-53 with 2:13 to go on a Knox jumper.
Alex Huffman (19 points, six rebounds and four assists) and Davis (10 points) were the only Panthers who shot well. Caveney scored nine with four steals, and Waldman added seven points, nine rebounds and five assists. The Panthers shot about 37 percent overall and were awarded only three free throws, making two.
Erin Cunningham led the Bantams, who were 12 of 16 from the line, with 16 points.

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