Women’s basketball plays opponents close in tough losses

By Rain Ji

The Panthers hosted the Conn College on Saturday, Feb. 1. Middlebury held a 16–8 advantage over the Camels during the first ten minutes of the game, thanks to impressive play from Reagan McDonald ’23 and Maya Davis ’20. During the second quarter, however, the Camels secured 18 out of the first 24 points, which brought the game to a stalemate 34–34 at half time. The two teams had intense exchanges during the third quarter, and Davis and Michaela Sullivan ’22 collaborated to score points. During the last quarter, with less than 7 minutes remaining, Middlebury was able to catch up to the Camels after seven straight points. Unfortunately, the Panthers could not turn the tide and lost the game 87–80. 

Sullivan performed outstandingly in this game, scoring a career-high 25 points. In regards to the game, she said, “Losing to Connecticut wasn’t an easy pill to swallow. Despite the loss, we outscored them in the fourth quarter, which shows how unwilling we were to give up, and I’m really proud of the way we fought until the end. At the end of the day, it’s about working hard, becoming better basketball players, enjoying each other’s company, and having fun.”

On Feb. 6, Middlebury traveled to Massachusetts to compete against Emmanuel College. The Saints opened the game with a 6-point edge over the Panthers, and in 10 minutes, they had a 25–17 lead. Middlebury fought hard to come back during the second quarter. Claire Miller ’23 and McDonald shot impressive back-to-back threes, and two teams scored evenly during the second quarter. Regrettably, the Panthers had a tough time during the third quarter, even after incredible plays from Alana Kornaker ’22. With a mere 4 minutes remaining on the clock, Middlebury continued to work to shrink the difference, but lost to Emmanuel 82–89.

The Panthers had a bumpy start in their game against Wesleyan on Feb. 9, as the Cardinals led a steady 10-point advantage during the first quarter. Middlebury was able to reduce the point difference somewhat during the second stanza, but Wesleyan persisted in their attacks. Thankfully, McDonald was able to cut the disadvantage for Middlebury as she scored back-to-back. During the last quarter, the Panthers cut the deficit to 76–66 with a minute remaining. Betsy Knox ’20 tallied up six points, while Kira Waldman ’20 scored consecutive layups. The Cardinals overpowered the Panthers 84–70.

Recounting the week McDonald said, “Although the past few games have not gone on our way, we are remaining positive and keeping our team morale high. As a team, we are focusing on working together and celebrating both individual and team success.”  

The Panthers will challenge the Jumbos at Tufts on Friday, Feb. 14.