February 11, 2013

Junior Laura Lowry’s (W. Hartford, Conn.) career-high 25 points propelled the Middlebury College women’s basketball team past visiting Trinity, moving the Panthers up a notch in the very crowded NESCAC standings with one game to play for both squads. Middlebury held a decisive edge at the charity stripe, making 27-36 tosses, while the Bantams knocked down 16-20 free throws for the game.

Neither team led by more than three in the first half until a pair of free throws from senior Tracy Borsinger (Chatham, N.J.) put the Panthers on top 29-25 with 5:15 remaining. Lowry hit a jumper on the team’s next possession to give Middlebury its largest lead of the half at 31-25 at the 4:52 mark. The Bantams came within one twice, including a three-point play from Taylor Higgins late in the half to make it a 38-37 game at the intermission. Lowry had 14 first half points for Middlebury, junior Katie Pett (Saginaw, Mich.) scored nine with seven rebounds, while senior Jesse Miller (Wellesley, Mass.) grabbed eight boards. Hannah Brickley led the Bantams with 10 points in the first 20 minutes. Trinity actually held a free throw advantage in the first half, hitting 11-13 to Middlebury’s 8-11.

The Panthers opened a 10-point lead in the second half, using a 10-0 run after the Bantams tied the game at 41 apiece on a Shantel Hanniford jumper at 18:59. Junior Scarlett Kirk (San Francisco, Calif.) and Lowry each added five points during the run. The Panther lead hovered around 10 points for the next 11 minutes before Trinity put a 5-0 spurt together, cutting the deficit to 64-59 with 8:04 left to play. Lowry made her final points on a jumper at 6:39, giving Middlebury a 68-60 lead.

Trinity cut the deficit to six twice in the next two minutes, but could not get closer as the Panthers built their lead back to double-figures on a Pett lay-up at 2:40. Trailing 78-66, the Bantams had a final spark when Christina Raiti hit a three with :53 on the clock, followed by a pair of free throws by Moriah Sweeney with 46 seconds to play. Those were the final points for Trinity as Middlebury made three more free throws in the final minute for the 81-71 victory.

Lowry’s career-best 25 points came on 7-14 shooting, including 3-6 from downtown and 8-9 from the line. Borsinger and Pett each added 16, while Kirk netted 15 for Middlebury. Miller had a great day under the boards, collecting a game-high 13 rebounds as the Panther out-rebounded the Bantams 39-29 on the day.

Middlebury forced 27 turnovers by Lyndon State as the Panthers cruised to a 75-47 win over the Hornets in Pepin Gym on Tuesday. Middlebury scored 23 points off those turnovers and used crisp passing to amass 25 assists in the game, two shy of the school record.

Trailing 7-3, Middlebury went on a 14-2 run behind a pair of threes from junior Kristina Conroy (Easthampton, Mass.) to hold a 17-9 lead with 10:33 left in the first half. The Panthers then scored 18 of 22 points beginning at the 6:29 mark to take a 41-22 advantage with 1:32 remaining in the half. A lay-up by Lyndon’s Aimee Thompson with a minute to go made it a 41-25 game at the intermission.

Middlebury scored the first 10 points of the second session, five of them coming from Kirk, to take a 51-25 lead just 2:33 into the half. The lead ballooned to 31 on a bucket from Miller at the 5:02 mark, as the Panthers cruised to the 75-47 victory.

Kirk led all scorers with 19 points in the game, while Borsinger added 14. Pett nearly had a triple-double with 11 points, 10 boards and eight steals, while Miller grabbed a dozen rebounds. Lowry finished with eight points and six assists.

• Women’s basketball record: 13-10

• Up next: 2/13 vs. Amherst – 7:00 – 2/16 – NESCAC Quarterfinals (TBA)