January 23, 2012

            The Middlebury College women’s basketball team won a 95-90 overtime thriller at home against Colby-Sawyer in Pepin Gym. Both teams shot over 50%, but it was the Panthers that came out on top in the offensive battle.

Middlebury took an early 15-6 lead before Colby-Sawyer scored 10 unanswered points to take its first lead of the contest at 16-15, midway through the first half. The Panthers regained momentum, backed by strong shooting from sophomore Scarlett Kirk (San Francisco, Calif.), opening an 11-point lead with 2:17 remaining in the half. Colby-Sawyer, however, scored the final five points, including a three from Taylor DeSanty, to narrow the gap to 40-34 Middlebury at the break.

            The Panthers held a slim lead throughout much of the second half, as both teams continued their hot shooting. With less than a minute to play, Colby-Sawyer tied the game with 22 seconds left in regulation on an Ashley Fruzzetti’s runner setting the score at 80-80. On the ensuing possession, Middlebury’s Kirk drove the baseline to put the Panthers up by two, but the Chargers’ Cailin Bullett went coast-to-coast to tie the game at 82-82 with six seconds to play. Middlebury had a chance to win it in regulation, but senior Brittany Perfetti’s (Clifton Heights, Pa.) 30-foot bid at the buzzer hit off the rim to send the game into overtime.

            Kirk scored four quick points for Middlebury, as the Panthers opened the extra session with an early 88-84 lead. Colby-Sawyer battled back to take a 90-89 edge on a Kelsey Cahill free-throw with 1:34 to play, but the Panthers closed out the game with five unanswered points to grab the 95-90 victory.

            Middlebury’s Kirk led five Panthers in double figures, picking up a career-high 21 points as the team combined to shoot 52.2%. Perfetti hit career-highs with 21 points and seven assists, and also added eight rebounds. Senior Stephany Surrette (Worcester, Mass.) had a strong night, racking up 21 points, while senior Maddie Moreau (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) added 15. Rounding out the offense, junior Tracy Borsinger (Chatham, N.J.) recorded 12 points, with sophomore Katie Pett (Saginaw, Mich.) contributing a game-high nine rebounds, tying her career high. 

Middlebury dropped a NESCAC road game at Hamilton Friday night, falling by a score of 43-31.

With the game tied at 6-6, Middlebury went on an 8-0 first half run to take a 14-6 lead at the 10:19 mark on a hoop from rookie Katie Ritter (Middlebury, Vt.). Hamilton later answered with an 8-0 spurt of its own, cutting the Panther advantage to 20-19 with 2:18 remaining behind threes from Kim Goidell and Dani Feigin. Middlebury sophomore Laura Lowry (W. Hartford, Conn.) made a three down the stretch as the Panthers and Continentals entered the lockerroom in a 23-23 tie.

The game featured seven lead changes and three ties, many of them coming down the stretch. Adrianna Pulford put Hamilton on top 42-39 with 1:10 remaining in the game. The teams exchanged turnovers before Borsinger cut the lead to one with 30 seconds left on the clock. Eliza Howe went to the line for the Continentals, knocking down 1-2 at the 28 second mark to give Hamilton a 43-41 advantage. The Panthers missed a shot to tie with 12 seconds remaining, but regained possession after a Hamilton turnover. Following a timeout with five seconds left, Middlebury had one last chance, but Kirk’s shot with time expiring rolled off the rim.

Borsinger finished with eight points to lead Middlebury, Moreau scored seven with 12 rebounds, while Pett earned five steals.

The Middlebury bench outscored Hamilton 18-5, holding a 41-30 edge on the boards. Hamilton forced 24 Panther turnovers, handing the ball over 20 times themselves.
• Women’s Basketball record: 4-11
• Up next: 1/24 vs. Plattsburgh – 5:30, 1/26 @ Keene, 1/28 vs. Williams – 2:00