February 9, 2010

Bowdoin won its 12th straight game over Middlebury (10-10, 2-4) as the Polar Bears (16-4, 3-3) earned a 61-45 NESCAC road victory in Pepin Gym. The Polar Bears forced 34 Panther turnovers in the game, taking advantage with 26 points on the Middlebury miscues.

            Bowdoin took a 16-6 lead through the game's first 6:32, sparked by eight points from Kaitlin Donahoe and six from Leah Rubega. The Panthers cut the lead to six on a pair of free throws from sophomore Elissa Goeke (Chevy Chase, Md.), as Bowdoin extended its lead to 33-21 at the break on a late hoop from Sabrina Cote.

            Bowdoin held a double-digit lead for a majority of the second half, holding a game-high 18-point advantage on a hoop from Amy Hackett with 9:59 remaining. Middlebury chipped away, cutting the lead to 53-44 on a hoop from senior Kaitlyn Fallon (Swarthmore, Pa.) with 2:47 left to play. The Polar Bears nailed 6-6 free throws down the stretch to seal the 61-45 victory.

            Junior Lauren Sanchez (Seattle, Wash.) led Middlebury with 14 points, sophomore Brittany Perfetti (Clifton Heights, Pa.) scored 13, and sophomore Stephany Surrette (Worcester, Mass.) had six with nine boards. Rubega led Bowdoin with 13 points and 13 rebounds, followed by Caitlyn Hynes with 12 points and Katie Bergeron with nine.

Colby won its third-straight game as the Mules (18-3, 5-2) picked up a 63-54 road win at Middlebury (10-11, 2-5) on Saturday afternoon. Colby held a slim 40-34 advantage on the boards, blocking eight shots in the game.

            Middlebury came out strong early, taking an 11-4 advantage in the game's first 5:48 of play. Four different players scored for the Panthers, including Sanchez, who netted the last two points of the run. Trailing 15-8, Colby followed with a 10-2 run to take its first lead of the game (18-17) on a three from Alison Cappelloni at the 7:32 mark. The back and forth play continued, with the Mules closing the half on a 5-0 run to take a 30-25 advantage into the intermission.

            Middlebury opened the second half on an 8-8 run behind five points from Sanchez, taking a 34-32 lead at the 16:10 mark. Colby answered and slowly increased its lead, holding an eight-point margin at 51-43 on a hoop from Cappelloni with 7:13 remaining. The Panthers cut the lead to three on a hoop from Sanchez at the 2:47 mark, but Colby held off the charge and hung on the for 63-54 victory.

            Sanchez led all scorers with 18 points, followed by Surrette with 11 points and six boards. Rachael Mack and Diana Manduca paced the Mules with 14 points apiece, while Julianne Kowalski netted a dozen. Mack added 10 rebounds and four blocks in the victory.

Earlier in the week, Middlebury shot an impressive .477 from the floor as they picked up a 74-64 road win at the Albany College of Pharmacy. The Panthers held a huge 50-26 advantage on the boards, converting 6 of 11 from three-point range.

Middlebury moved out to a 21-6 lead through the game's first 11:10, sparked by 13 points from Sanchez. The Panthers took a 31-16 lead into the intermission, leading by as many as 17 in the second half. Albany cut the lead to 59-52 with 5:15 remaining, but the Panthers answered, increasing their lead to a dozen before coming away with the 74-64 final.

Sanchez led the Panthers with 19 points, adding nine rebounds and six assists. Fallon scored 13, while rookie Tracy Borsinger (Chatham, N.J.), Surrette and first-year player Kate Logan (Washington Crossings, Pa.) scored nine apiece. Surrette added 10 boards in the victory. Kelly VanVlakenburgh led all scorers with 26.

• Women's basketball record: 10-11

• Up next: 2/12 @ Trinity, 2/13 @ Amherst