Women’s Basketball Succumbs to Late Middlebury Rally

Women’s Basketball Succumbs to Late Middlebury Rally

CASTLETON, Vt. – Castleton University held the lead for the vast majority of the game, but Middlebury College put together a rally in the final six minutes to pull out a 60-49 victory Wednesday evening in a non-conference women's collegiate basketball game at Glenbrook Gym.

Betsy Knox hit the first shot of the game for Middlebury, but three three-pointers by Lindsay Sabo helped Castleton pull out to a 15-7 lead. A three-pointer from Alexis Quenneville and four straight points by Ashlie Fay early in the second quarter allowed the Spartans to extend their lead, with two three-pointers by Makayla Farrara midway through the second quarter giving Castleton its biggest lead of the night at 30-13.

Middlebury (14-3) scored the final four points of the second quarter, and then a three-pointer by Alex Huffman in the first minute of the third quarter closed the Panther deficit to 12 at 32-20. Castleton responded with five unanswered points, but three free throws from Catherine Harrison and a three-pointer by Kira Waldman brought Middlebury back to within 11 at 37-26 midway through the third quarter.

Down by 10 (47-37) with 6:08 remaining in regulation, Middlebury scored five quick points on a jumper by Lily Kuntz and a traditional three-point play from Waldman. Morgan Raiche hit a jumper with 3:31 remaining in the fourth quarter, but the Panthers quickly roared back, as Waldman made another three-pointer, Harrison hit a layup, and Knox made a three-pointer with 1:24 remaining in regulation to give Middlebury a two-point lead.

In the final three minutes, Castleton missed six shots and committed two turnovers, while Middlebury continued to pull away, hitting 7-of-8 free throw attempts in the final 35 seconds to close out a game-ending 18-0 scoring run.

Amanda Beatty led Castleton with 13 points, Farrara finished with 11 points, and Fay contributed seven points, six rebounds, six assists, and three steals. As a team, the Spartans shot 37 percent (17-of-46) from the field, including 6-of-19 from behind the three-point line, and 64.3 percent (9-of-14) from the free throw line.

Waldman shot 6-of-11 from the field, including 4-of-6 from behind the three-point line, and 8-of-11 from the free throw line to lead all players with 24 points, while Harrison finished with 11 points and seven rebounds. After shooting under 20 percent from the field in the first half, the Panthers hit 50 percent in the second half to finish at 33.3 percent (16-of-48) from the field, plus they shot 72.4 percent (21-of-29) from the free throw line.

Middlebury dominated the rebounding battle, 38-26, and scored nine points off six Castleton turnovers in the fourth quarter. The Spartans scored 21 points off 15 Panther turnovers in the game.

Castleton (9-8) begins the final stretch of conference play Saturday, Jan. 28, at Green Mountain starting at 3 p.m.