February 15, 2010

The Panther women’s basketball team wrapped-up its season with a 79-46 loss at Amherst (24-0, 9-0), the top-ranked team in the nation. The Panthers finish their season at 10-14, 2-7 in NESCAC play, finishing in a tie with Wesleyan for the eighth spot in the NESCAC standings. By virtue of a 60-52 loss at Wesleyan on January 23rd, the Cardinals earn the tie-breaker and earn the eighth-seed and final seed for the upcoming league tourney.

            The Lord Jeffs opened up an 11-2 lead early on, but saw Middlebury respond with a 6-0 run to close the gap to 11-8. Just over seven minutes into the half, Middlebury kept the margin at three points on a sophomore Maddie Moreau (Canton, N.Y.) layup, but that was the last time that the score would be that close. On Amherst's next possession, Caroline Stedman drilled a three pointer to stretch the lead back to 17-11. Stedman scored eight of Amherst's next 10 points as the Lord Jeff's opened up a 25-11 lead before Middlebury would score again.

            A strong scoring play by Middlebury rookie Tracy Borsinger (Chatham, N.J.) and a pair of junior Lauren Sanchez (Seattle, Wash.) free throws cut the Amherst lead to 11 points at 31-20 with 4:12 remaining in the half. Over the last four minutes of the frame, Amherst went on an 8-1 run to take a 39-21 lead into the locker room. At the half Stedman and Lem Atanga McCormick led all players with 10 points apiece, while Middlebury's Sanchez and sophomore Stephany Surrette (Worcester, Mass.) had five points each to lead the Panthers.

The second half started with four straight points from Middlebury, followed by a 6-0 Amherst run following a timeout. The game was never really in doubt, and by the 13:28 mark of the second stanza a three from Finucane put Amherst ahead 56-28. The Lord Jeff lead grew as large as 33 points late in the game, as the Lord Jeff's cruised to a 79-46 win.

            Rookie Marcia Voigt led the Lord Jeffs in scoring off the bench with 17 points and seven rebounds. Atanga McCormick and Stedman added 12 points each and combined for 15 rebounds, while Surrette and senior Kaitlyn Fallon (Swarthmore, Pa.) paced the Panthers in scoring with a combined 23 points.

The previous night, the Panthers fell by a score of 65-46 at Trinity. With the game tied at 9-9, Middlebury rookie Leah Kepping (Northport, N.Y.) knocked down a three to give the Panthers a 12-9 lead at the 14:49 mark. Trinity answered with a 15-3 run over the next 6:15 to take a 24-15 advantage with 7:46 remaining in the first half. Kaitlin Ciarleglio scored eight of her game-high 21 points during the run for the Bantams. Fallon scored six of the game's next eight points to cut the lead to 26-21 at the 5:37 mark. A hoop from sophomore Elissa Goeke (Chevy Chase, Md.) cut the lead to three, before Trinity closed the half on a 7-0 run to take a 33-23 lead into the break.

            Despite holding Middlebury without a field goal for the first 5:17 of the second half, Trinity's lead stood at 38-27 with 14:42 remaining. The Bantams slowed extended their advantage, holding a game-high 22-point lead on a pair of free throws from Christine Card with 3:49 remaining. Neither team scored in the final 1:20, leaving the Bantams with the 65-46 victory.

            Along with her 21 points on 9 of 10 shooting, Ciarleglio added five rebounds, four steals, three assists and two blocks in the win. Claire Arnstein added 13 points, while Card scored a dozen with eight boards. Fallon paced the Panthers with 16 points on 8 of 14 shooting from the floor. Sanchez added 15 points on 11-11 shooting from the free throw line and four steals.

• Women’s basketball final record: 10-13

• end of season