January 9, 2012

            The Middlebury College women’s basketball team opened up NESCAC play with a 65-58 loss to Bates in Pepin Gym.

In just the second home game of the season for Middlebury, the Panthers fell behind early and never led as Bates forced 21 turnovers. With Bates leading by seven at the 7:49 mark, the Panthers battled back to cut the advantage to 33-29 with just under two minutes left in the half. However, the Bobcats closed the period with an 8-2 run, taking a 41-31 lead into the break. Senior Stephany Surrette (Worcester, Mass.) posted nine first half points for Middlebury, while Molly Brown added nine points for Bates.

The Bobcats scored the first six points of the second half, extending their lead to 47-31 with 17:59 to play. Middlebury then used a 15-6 run to cut the lead to 53-46 midway through the half, before Bates went back up by 13 on a Brianna Hawkins lay-up. The Panthers closed out the game with a 9-4 run, but Bates held on for the 65-58 victory.

The game featured solid free-throw shooting from both teams, as they combined to go 30-33 from the line. Middlebury was 16-17 from the charity stripe, while Bates was 14-16.

Surrette scored 13 points, leading three Panthers in double figures. Junior Tracy Borsinger (Chatham, N.J.) chipped in with 12 points, while sophomore Scarlett Kirk (San Francisco, Calif.) narrowly missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.

Middlebury dropped its second straight NESCAC game as the Panthers (3-8, 0-2) fell 66-43 to Tufts (11-2, 2-0) in Pepin Gym. The loss was the second to the Jumbos in five days after falling on January 2nd at the Maine Maritime Tournament.

Tufts came out charging, taking a 13-2 lead in the game’s first 5:54. A two from Middlebury’s Kirk and a three from sophomore Sarah Marcus (Williamsville, N.Y.) cut the lead to 13-7 at the 13:10 mark . Tufts slowly extended its taking, earning its biggest margin of 15 points on a three from Kelsey Morehead with less than a minute to go in the half. The Jumbos took a 33-21 lead into the intermission, holding Middlebury to 6-20 shooting from the floor and forcing 13 turnovers.

Tufts led by 12 at the 15:34 mark, going on an 8-2 spurt to take a 47-28 advantage with 10:40 left to play. Threes from Hannah Foley and Kate Barnosky sparked the run. The Panthers came within 16 with 6:36 left to play, but that’s as close as they’d get as the Jumbos pulled away for the 66-43 win.

Senior Brittany Perfetti (Clifton Heights, Pa.) led Middlebury with 13 points, while Borsinger scored seven and Kirk had eight rebounds.

• Women’s Basketball record: 3-8
• Up next: 1/13 @ Conn. – 6:00, 1/14 @ Wesleyan – 2:00