January 11, 2010

The Panther women's basketball team had a busy week, winning three of four games played. The week began as Middlebury closed the game on a 14-4 run to pick up a 62-52 win over Plattsburgh in Pepin Gym. The Middlebury defense forced 31 turnovers in the game, taking advantage with 28 points.

With the game tied at 10, Plattsburgh went on a 10-2 run to take a 20-12 lead with 9:31 left to play. Threes from Lindsey Larivee and Catherine Cassidy sparked the run. Middlebury chipped away, going on a 7-0 spurt at the 5:57 mark to take a 26-25 advantage with 2:47 left in the half. Sophomore Maddie Moreau (Canton, N.Y.) hit two consecutive buckets for the Panthers to give them the lead. Taylor Amarando scored for the Cardinals before first-year player Leah Kepping (Northport, N.Y.) hit a three with under a minute to go, giving the Panthers a 29-27 lead at the intermission.

The second half featured six ties, with Plattsburgh holding a slim lead through much of the half. Kepping tied the game at 48 with 7:34 remaining, converting a four-point play with a three and a free throw. The Panthers went on to score 14 of the game's final 18 points to secure the win. Middlebury gained some breathing room with 2:05 left as rookie Jesse Miller (Wellesley, Mass.) made a great pass to a cutting sophomore Brittany Perfetti (Clifton Heights, Pa.) to make it a nine-point game.

Kepping led all scorers with 21 points and five assists on 9 of 16 shooting from the floor. Perfetti added 16 points, while Moreau netted 10. Sophomore Stephany Surrette (Worcester, Mass.) and senior Kaitlyn Fallon (Swarthmore, Pa.) each grabbed seven boards in the victory.

Middlebury won its sixth in a row, topping visiting Colby-Sawyer 68-60 on Thursday night at Pepin Gym. The win streak is the longest for the Panthers since a six-game run during the 2005-06 season. The game saw ten lead changes, including the final one by Middlebury with 4:36 in the second half on a lay-in from Surrette, which led to a decisive 11-0 run.

Trailing 11-10 after a Surrette bucket with 14:08 remaining in the first half, Colby-Sawyer went on an 8-3 spurt for an 18-13 advantage. The Panthers tied it at 22-all on a three from Perfetti at 8:22. Middlebury built a lead as large as five points before the Chargers cut it to 33-32 on a lay-up by Cailin Bullett with 29 seconds left. In the waning seconds, Miller hit one of two from the line for a 34-32 Panther lead at the break.

In the second half, Colby-Sawyer regained the lead at 41-39 on a lay-up from Taylor DeSanty with 14:42 remaining. The Chargers took their largest lead at 51-45 at 12:42 before the Panthers responded with a 6-0 run, tying the game at 51 apiece with 7:44 left. DeSanty hit a three for the Chargers, giving Colby-Sawyer a 56-55 lead at the 5:30 mark. Middlebury responded with their decisive 11-0 run over the next 4:21. With Surrette's go-ahead bucket, the Panthers took a 66-56 advantage with 1:09 remaining. Kepping's five points, including a key three-pointer sparked the run.

Kepping and senior Alana Wall (Honolulu, Hawaii) led Middlebury with 14 points apiece, while junior Lauren Sanchez (Seattle, Wash.) chipped in 10 and dished out a team-high six assists and Fallon grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.

Middlebury saw its six-game winning streak come to an end as the Panthers (6-4) dropped a 68-52 road game at Skidmore.

Skidmore jumped out early with an 8-0 lead behind three's from Megan Gaugler and Sharlyn Harpe. Middlebury responded with an 8-0 run of its own behind a pair from behind the arc by Perfetti to tie the game at 8-8 with 16:20 left in the first half. Skidmore led by as many as seven throughout the remainder of the half, with the Panthers cutting the lead to 31-27 at the intermission behind a pair of free throws from Sanchez.

Middlebury took its first lead of the game on a three from Perfetti at the 14:50 mark, giving them a 38-36 advantage. The Thoroughbreds answered with an impressive 12-1 run, sparked by a two and a three from Gaugler, taking a 51-39 lead with 8:12 left to play. The home team held a double-digit lead for the remainder of the game, emerging with a 68-52 victory.

Perfetti led the Panthers with 13 points, Fallon added nine, while Surrette scored seven with nine rebounds. Middlebury shot just 30 percent from the floor, while Skidmore connected on 48 percent of its shots.

Kepping led a balanced scoring attack with 13 points as Middlebury defeated Lyndon 70-47 Sunday in a non-conference game. Surrette and sophomore Elissa Goeke (Chevy Chase, Md.) chipped in 12 points each for the Panthers, while Fallon netted 10. Surette had a team-high three assists in the contest, while Moreau collected three steals. Miller came off the bench to grab a game-high 13 rebounds for Middlebury.
. Women's basketball record: 7-4
. Up next: 1/15 vs. Bates - 6:00, 1/16 vs. Tufts - 2:00