Women's Basketball Holds Off Hamilton

February 15, 2011

Middlebury forced 24 turnovers against visiting Hamilton (8-13) en route to a 51-44 non-league victory Tuesday night in Pepin Gym. The win caps the regular season for the Panthers (15-8) as Middlebury travels to Colby for a NESCAC Quarterfinal match-up against the Mules on Saturday at 3:00 p.m.

Hamilton shot an efficient .444 from the floor in the first half, besting the Panthers’ .290 shooting, but the Continentals committed 15 turnovers, as Middlebury took a 26-16 lead into intermission. Trailing 10-7 with 12:05 left in the first, the Panthers went on an 11-0 run, forcing five turnovers and allowing one Hamilton shot from the floor over the next six minutes of play. Middlebury’s Sarah Marcus led the charge, hitting a pair of threes during the span, for an 18-10 lead. The Continentals cut the deficit to 20-14 on a jumper from Claire Hunsinger at the 4:09 mark, before the Panthers ended the half on a 6-2 spurt and a 26-16 lead at the break.

In the second half, Hamilton went on a 4-0 run, cutting the Panther lead to 30-24 with 14:36 remaining. The Panthers responded with a 6-0 burst, as Marcus scored two baskets, including a lay-up at 9:42, giving Middlebury a 36-24 cushion. Trailing 43-34 with 4:38 to play, Hamilton’s Blue Sanders scored consecutive buckets, slicing the Panther lead to 43-38 with 3:41 left in the game. Maddie Moreau answered for Middlebury, nailing a three, before Tracy Borsinger added a lay-up at 2:38 off a Continental turnover for a 48-38 lead with 2:38 on the clock.

Hamilton did not go away as Sanders nailed back-to-back threes, trimming the Middlebury advantage to 48-44 with 58 seconds left to play. The Panthers earned some breathing room when Lauren Sanchez made a lay-up and a free throw with 25 seconds remaining, for a 51-44 lead. Hamilton missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity from the line and was 0/2 from the field in the waning seconds, eliminating any chance of a final comeback.

Moreau paced Middlebury with 11 points and four assists, while Sarah Marcus added 10 points and nabbed three steals off the bench. Stephanie Surrette added seven points and a team best seven rebounds for the Panthers. Hamilton’s Sanders led all scorers with 14 points on 6/8 shooting, including 2/3 from behind the arc, as Madie Harlem scored nine points, grabbed seven boards, dished out three assists, blocked a shot and collected three steals.

Box Score