January 18, 2010

The Panther women's basketball team opened up NESCAC play with a 66-53 win over Bates (8-7, 0-1) in Pepin Gym. The Panthers (8-4, 1-0) controlled the boards, owning a 55-34 advantage, with three players earning nine or more rebounds in the game.

A tight first half saw four ties, with the Bobcats taking a 22-21 lead on a three from Kellie Goodridge with 3:14 remaining. The Panthers closed the half on a 10-3 run, including a late three from sophomore Brittany Perfetti (Clifton Heights, Pa.), to take a 31-25 lead into the intermission.

Middlebury held a 6-8 point lead for most of the second half, with the Bobcats coming within seven at 49-42 on a hoop from Allie Beaulieu at the 7:07 mark. Middlebury answered with a 6-0 spurt, behind a three-point play from junior Lauren Sanchez (Seattle, Wash.), to increase its lead to a dozen at 54-42 with 5:41 left to play.

Bates cut the lead to eight with 2:39 remaining, but Middlebury scored the game's next eight points to put the contest away. Middlebury was clutch from the charity stripe down the stretch, hitting 12 of 14 in the final 3:24.

Perfetti led a balanced Middlebury attack with 15 points, followed by senior Alana Wall (Honolulu, Hawaii) with 14 and seven boards, while Sanchez scored 13, going 11-11 from the foul line. Sophomore Stephany Surrette (Worcester, Mass.) scored six with nine boards, senior Kaitlyn Fallon (Swarthmore, Pa.) earned 11 rebounds, while Jess Miller pulled down 10.

Middlebury dropped its first NESCAC game of the season as the Panthers fell 62-56 to 11th-ranked Tufts in Pepin Gym. The Jumbos (13-2, 1-1) bounced back after seeing its 12-game winning streak snapped at Williams, by shooting a red-hot .571 (8-14) from behind the three-point arc. Tufts also shot an impressive .462 from the floor, as Middlebury (8-5, 1-1) made just 1 of 9 three's on the afternoon.

Tufts led 14-11 with 8:38 left in the first half, before going on a 10-0 run to lead 24-11. Colleen Hart hit a pair of three's for the Jumbos to spark the run. The Jumbos maintained a double-digit lead for the rest of the half, as Hart hit her fifth trifecta with seven seconds left to make it a 35-22 game at the break.

Tufts took a game-high 16-point lead on a three from Kate Barnosky to open the second half, but Middlebury answered with an 8-0 run. The Panthers came within four in a pair of free throws from Perfetti, with the Jumbos coming back with a 9-0 spurt. Hart hit a two and a three during the run to give the Jumbos a 49-26 lead with 10:29 remaining.

Middlebury kept chipping away, making it a 53-50 game on a three from Perfetti with 4:57 on the clock. Tufts increased its lead, but the Panthers answered as Perfetti cut the margin to three once again with 2:53 remaining. The Jumbos scored on their next two possessions to extend the lead to 61-54, as Middlebury began to foul down the stretch. Tufts had a chance to put the game away sooner than they did, converting just 1 of 6 free throws in the final minute.

Surrette scored a career-high 18 points in the game for Middlebury, shooting 8 of 11 from the floor with eight boards. Perfetti added 15 points in the contest, while Fallon netted eight points with five boards.
. Women's basketball record: 8-5
. Up next: 1/19 @ Hamilton - 6:00, 1/22 @ Conn. - 6:00, 1/23 @ Wesleyan - 2:00