Women’s Basketball Falls on the Road, Wins on Home Court

By Alex Morris

The women’s basketball team conceded another away loss, falling to Emmanuel 62-50 on Saturday, Dec. 1, but recovered at home on Tuesday, Dec. 4 with a decisive 72-44 victory over Norwich to improve to 3-4 on the season.

The Panthers controlled the game in its early stages before Saints player Fiona O’Dwyer tied the score at 7-7 with a three-pointer. She followed up with a jumper to give Emmanuel its first lead, before Katie Pett ’14 hit a shot from the wing to bring the score back to 9-9.

After a free throw from Laura Benvenuto to make it 10-9, the Saints never trailed for the rest of the game. After building up a lead of 22-10, Middlebury responded with a 13-2 run to make it a one-point game at 24-23 with just three minutes left in the half.

Emmanuel opened the second half with a 6-0 run to increase their lead to 36-25 after a layup by Liz Daley.

While the Saints managed to keep a double-digit lead for most of the half, the Panthers managed to pull it back to six after a Pett layup with just 12 minutes remaining. However, Emmanuel responded quickly to pull their lead back up to double-figures at 49-39, holding on for the eventual win of 62-50.

“We should come away from this game with the confidence that we can not only stick with but also potentially beat a very good team,” said co-captain Kate Logan ’13. “By focusing on our game plan and forcing Emmanuel to play a style that they were not comfortable with, we very much challenged a strong team that is ranked 16th nationally.”

Tracy Borsinger ’13 led the Panthers with 13 points while Pett claimed 10 rebounds and a pair of steals.

Coach Noreen Pecsok is looking to prepare her team for the final push before winter break.

“Much of our time will be spent in preparation for our opponents,” said Pecsok. “We hope to play well and head into the break with a few wins and some positive momentum.”

Middlebury looked to bounce back with their first home game against Norwich on Tuesday Dec. 4.

The Panthers started off strong as they quickly opened up a 9-0 lead including a jumper on the buzzer from Borsinger and a three from Laura Lowry ’14.

After vowing to work on tightening up their defense, Middlebury looked strong and tight in the back court, forcing travels and air balls from Norwich.  The Panthers dominated the boards in the first half, looking to quickly running the floor.

Nora Kelly ’15 made an instant impact off the bench, finding Kristina Conroy ’14 off a backdoor cut, before sinking a three pointer moments later.

Norwich made a run at the end of the half to pull back some points, after a three-point play from Norwich’s Katrina Laidlaw.  Scarlett Kirk ’14 finished off the scoring with 37 seconds with a layup bringing the score to 40-19.

Middlebury picked up where they left off in the second half with a 12-0 run, easily opening Norwich on the counter, converting many fast-break points.  The Cadets introduced a press, but were unable break down the Panthers.

Pett and Kirk were both strong from the line, and two free-throws from Pett brought the score to 62-37 with 8:28 remaining.  The Panthers also had particular success on the baseline with jumpers from Borsinger and Kirk.

Kirk led her team with 21 points and 10 rebounds while Borsinger recorded 15 and 10.  Middlebury faces Johnson State at home on Thursday, Dec. 6.