Women's Basketball Pulls Away in Early Stages of Second Half Against Colby-Sawyer

January 14, 2014

The Middlebury College women’s basketball slowly pulled away in the opening stages of the second half against Colby-Sawyer Tuesday evening and turned a one-point halftime deficit into a 65-58 victory in Pepin Gym. The Panthers (6-7) return to the court and jump back into NESCAC play Friday evening with a 6:00 p.m. game against Wesleyan, while Colby-Sawyer (6-7) plays Friday at Husson.

The first half featured runs from both squads. Owners of a narrow one-point lead, 8-7, with 14:10 left, the Chargers reeled off a quick 7-0 run covering just over two minutes of play and led 15-7 with 11:58 on the clock. Middlebury answered with a 10-0 spurt capped off with a putback by Scarlett Kirk at the 7:24 mark. The visitors answered with a 6-0 run finished with a lay-up from Kelsey Cahill on an assist by Ashley Fruzzetti with 5:56 left.

The Panthers recorded eight of the game’s next 12 points and tied the contest, 25-25, just over three minutes before the half via a pair of free throws from Rachel Crews. Colby-Sawyer knocked down a three-pointer from Jessica Shenkel at the buzzer and took that one-point edge into the break. Of note, the two teams combine to tally 10 blocks in the opening 20 minutes.

After the break, five quick points from Middlebury’s Sarah Marcus, including the team’s lone make from beyond the arc for the game, gave the Panthers a lead they would never relinquish. That lead grew to as many as nine, 46-37, with 12:33 remaining on a jumper from Crews with a nifty assist by Alexis Coolidge.

Not done yet, Colby-Sawyer whittled the Middlebury lead down to four, 50-46, on a shot from beyond the arc by Shenkel with 9:11 left. However, the hosts posted nine of the game’s ensuing 11 points, with the final two markers of the run on a jumper by Knox with just under four minutes left. The visitors tried to extend the game, but Middlebury knocked down 6-of-7 charity tosses over the final 1:27 and secured the win.

Individually, Marcus led Middlebury with 15 points, while Kirk recorded her third-consecutive double-digit rebounding performance of 13 boards to go along with seven points. Additionally, Crews also finished in double figures with 14 points, while Knox chipped in with nine points and eight rebounds and Katie Pett added eight markers and nine caroms.

Of note, the Panthers concluded the game with a decided 49-31 edge on the boards.

Colby-Sawyer finished with three in double figures, led by Cahill with 16 points and a team-high six rebounds, while Kelsey Bragdon and Katie McCarthy each added 11.