Women's Basketball Falls To Tufts In NESCAC Tourney

February 23, 2008

The Middlebury women's basketball team saw its season come to an end as the Panthers fell 71-60 at Tufts in a NESCAC quarterfinal match-up. Emily Johnson scored a game-high 23 points for the Panthers, knocking down 6 of 9 from three-point territory.

Khalilah Ummah scored 22 points with seven rebounds, four assists and four blocks to lead 15th ranked Tufts to the win. The Jumbos never trailed in the game against the Panthers, but the visitors were persistent. Tufts had an early 15-4 advantage, with seven of the points coming from Kim Moynihan. The Panthers were able to narrow the Jumbo lead to six four times in the first half, including 24-18 after a three-pointer by Ashley Barron at the 10-minute mark.

After a quick start offensively by both teams, they were less successful in the next 10 minutes of the first half. The Jumbos led 36-23 on a three-pointer by Vanessa Miller with 2:56 to go until intermission. Johnson scored five points in the final two-and-a-half minutes to get the margin into single-digits, 36-28, by the half. She had 14 at the break, while Ummah had eight for the Jumbos.

Middlebury came out strong in the second half and tied the score at 38-38 when Johnson capped a 10-2 run with a three-pointer at 17:29. Ummah's lay-up at the other end gave the lead back to Tufts for good, but it was a tight ballgame until the Jumbos blew it open with a run.

Leading 46-42 at 12:12, the Jumbos scored the next 17 points to go ahead 63-42 with 5:49 left in regulation. Seven points by first-year guard Collen Hart spurred the stretch for the hosts.

The Panthers again showed some resilience by cutting the deficit to 11 points (67-56) with 90 seconds to go. However, the Jumbo lead was too big and the hosts advanced to the NESCAC semi-finals for the second straight year.

The Jumbos shot 60 percent in the second half (15/25) to finish at 53.6 for the game (30/56). Moynihan added 11 points and four assists to the winning effort, while Miller pitched in with a career-high 10 points. She hit on 4 of 5 shots, including two threes.

Lani Young was near a double-double for the Panthers with 12 points, nine rebounds and four steals. Katie Fisher also scored in double figures for Middlebury with 10 points. Middlebury shot 53.3 percent from long range (8/15) for the game.