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Women’s hoop will hit the road for playoffs

AMHERST, Mass. — The Middlebury College women’s basketball team split two NESCAC games as its regular season concluded this past weekend. The Panthers finished at 18-6 overall, 5-5 in NESCAC play, and will open the NESCAC playoffs as the No. 5 seed and visit No. 4 Trinity (19-5, 6-4) on Saturday at 3 p.m. The Bantams edged the visiting Panthers, 59-55, on Jan. 27.
The winner will advance to a league final four the following weekend, which almost certainly will be held at No. 1 Bowdoin (24-0, 10-0 NESCAC), and would play the host Polar Bears.
On this past Saturday second-place Amherst (21-2, 8-1 NESCAC) pulled away from Middlebury in the third quarter to prevail, 72-62. The Panthers led by 17-9 after the first period and 32-31 at the half, but the Mammoths opened the second half on a 10-2 run and closed the quarter with another 10-2 surge to lead by 57-44 entering the final period. Middlebury came no closer than 11 in the fourth.
Colleen Caveney finished with 14 points for Middlebury, while Kira Waldman scored 11 and Maya Davis netted 10. Betsy Knox contributed 10 points and nine rebounds, while Catherine Harrison chipped in eight points and eight boards.
Hannah Fox (21 points) and Madeline Eck (20) sparked the Mammoths. 
On Friday, the Panthers outlasted host Hamilton, 58-55. The Continentals were 10-11, 0-9 NESCAC heading into a scheduled Tuesday makeup game at Amherst. 
The game was back and forth throughout, but the Panthers scored six straight points to erase a 49-48 Hamilton lead and go on top, 54-49, with 2:25 to go. Middlebury then hit four straight free throws to nail down the win.
Waldman finished with 15 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, Colleen Caveney scored 10 with three steals. Harrison contributed eight points and eight boards, while Knox scored eight with three blocks. The Panthers outrebounded Hamilton, 41-32, and finished with a 9-2 road record. Marie Steiner scored 13 points to lead Hamilton.

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