January 5, 2009

Rensselaer's Sarah Wetmore broke a 66-66 tie on a lay-up and free throw with 28 seconds left in overtime, giving the visiting Red Hawks a 69-66 victory over Middlebury. Friday's game was the first contest for both teams in nearly a month.

Middlebury trailed 17-8 midway through the first half before going on an 8-0 run capped by a bucket by junior Roz Vara (Marshfield, Vt.) at the 5:12 mark. Despite shooting 24 percent in the first half, the Red Hawks upped their lead to 25-18 with 3:18 left on a hoop by Wetmore before the Panthers closed out the half on a 6-0 run, cutting the RPI lead to 27-26 at the intermission.

Middlebury quickly took the lead in the second half on a three by senior Emily Johnson (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.). The lead grew to as many as eight points early in the second before the Red Hawks slowly chipped away, finally knotting the game at 48 apiece with 8:41 left. Middlebury responded with a 7-1 run, highlighted by four points by junior Kaitlyn Fallon (Swarthmore, Pa.), before RPI answered with a 6-0 run of their own, tying the game 55-55 with 2:41 left in the second. Each team collected a basket in the next minute of play, but neither team could manage a shot in the final 1:32 of regulation.

Johnson got the Panthers ahead early in the extra session, hitting a free throw for a 58-57 lead with 4:50 remaining. RPI's Elizabeth Barker scored the next five points, giving the Red Hawks a 62-58 advantage with 3:49 on the clock. With 1:41 left, Middlebury retook the lead at 66-64, hitting all six free throw attempts during the 6-2 run. Wetmore hit a lay-up, tying the game one final time with 1:21 left before she hit her decisive bucket and free throw.

Middlebury had two chances to tie the game in the final seconds as a missed three by Johnson was collected by the sophomore Alison Wells (Waterville, Vt.). Senior Ashley Barron's (Brockton, Mass.) three attempt was blocked by Wetmore.

Johnson led the Panthers with 20 points, as Fallon chipped in 12 and nine collected a team-high nine rebounds. Whitney Coleman led RPI with 20 as Wetmore scored 18, including seven in overtime. Elizabeth Barker netted 10 points and grabbed an impressive 18 rebounds, including 11 on the offensive glass.
. Women's basketball record: 4-5
. Up next: 1/6 @ Plattsburgh, 1/8 @ C. Sawyer, 1/10 vs. Skidmore - 1:00