Women's Basketball Wins NESCAC Opener

January 10, 2014

Middlebury topped Bates 67-54 in Pepin Gym in the NESCAC opener for both teams as Scarlett Kirk and Elizabeth Knox each recorded a double-double for the Panthers. Middlebury (5-6, 1-0) continues its NESCAC schedule hosting Tufts on Sunday afternoon, while Bates (7-6, 0-1) travels to the University of New England on Monday in a non-league contest.

In a rematch of the last season’s NESCAC quarterfinal, where Middlebury topped the Bobcats 75-64, the hosts raced out to a 10-0 lead highlighted by a pair of threes from Sarah Marcus and two buckets from Kirk. Bates sliced the lead in half with a three from Allaina Murphy at 14:30 and a jumper by Bernadette Connors just over 30 seconds later.

Leading 10-5, the Panthers put together a 9-2 run over the next four minutes, building a 21-7 advantage, as Knox scored four points and Marcus knocked down her third three-pointer. The lone Bates basket during the run was from Meredith Kelly, who entered the game 21 points shy of 1,000. The double-digit lead bulged to 19 late in the half on a pair of Marcus free throws. After a Bates bucket by Chelsea Nason, Knox capped the first half scoring with two points from the charity stripe, for a 34-15 lead at intermission.

Middlebury opened a 21-point lead in the opening moments of the second half on a pair of Kirk free throws. The Panthers maintained a double-digit lead for the remainder of the game cruising to the 67-54 win, as they held a decisive 54-31 rebounding advantage.

Kirk led the Panthers with 17 points and 10 rebounds, as Knox matched Kirk’s 10 boards while adding 14 points. Marcus finished with 15 points, including a trio of three-pointers, as Alexis Coolidge added 14 points and eight rebounds off the bench.

Kelly finished with 17 points for Bates, four shy of 1,000 for her career.  Murphy added a dozen, while grabbing a team-best six caroms.