Women's Hoop Falls To Wesleyan

January 24, 2009

A late comeback bid by Middlebury fell short as Wesleyan made all six of their free throws down the stretch for a 67-63 win at Pepin Gym on Saturday. The Cardinals shot 83 percent from the line, including an impressive 13-14 in the second half. The Panthers fall to 7-10 overall and 1-3 in NESCAC play, while the Cardinals improve to 9-7 and 1-3 in conference action. Middlebury hosts Keene State in a non-league game on Thursday before both teams head on the road for NESCAC contests on Friday and Saturday.

Alana Wall scored 12 of her game-high 16 points in the first half, but the Panthers trailed for most of the period. A three-pointer by Middlebury's Emily Johnson cut the Cardinal advantage to 33-28 with 56 seconds left, but Ali Fourney nailed a three of her own in the final seconds for an eight point advantage at the break.

Wesleyan grew their lead to 38-28 to start the second half before the Panthers went on a 13-2 run to take a 41-40 lead at the 12:13 mark. Lauren Sanchez sparked the run collecting seven points, including a long three-pointer. The Cardinals responded with an 11-0 run, including nine points by Erin Gold, to build another double-digit lead, 51-41 with 8:23 remaining in the game.

In the final two minutes, a pair of free throws by Johnson cut the Cardinal lead to 61-58. Meredith Rowe hit a pair of free throws for Wesleyan before Johnson hit the first of two free throws and Kaitlyn Fallon collected Johnson's miss for the put back with 50 seconds left. Middlebury was forced to foul, and Lowe hit another pair from the line for a 65-61 lead with 22 seconds remaining. Allison Needham made a lay-up with 11 seconds left, cutting the Wesleyan lead to 65-63. After a time-out by Middlebury, Sanchez fouled Fourney on the in-bounds play. Fourney hit the final pair of free throws sealing the 67-63 win for the Cardinals.

Wall went 8-16 from the floor for 16 points for Middlebury, while Johnson chipped in 15 to go with her six assists. Sanchez netted 13 points and Fallon collected a team-high eight rebounds before fouling out late in the game. Four Cardinals scored in double-figures including Lucy Sprung's 16 and Gold's 14 points. Lowe chipped in 11 and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds, while Fourney also scored 11, snagged 10 boards and added a game-high seven assists.