Middlebury, Vt. – The visiting Trinity College Bantams handed the Middlebury College Panthers a 65-54 home loss in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) women's basketball action on Friday evening in Pepin Gymnasium. Trinity improves to 15-4 overall and 4-1 in the NESCAC with its sixth-straight victory, while the Panthers drop to 12-7 overall and 1-5 in the league with their fourth setback in a row. Trinity visits NESCAC rival Williams tomorrow at 3 p.m. The Panthers entertain league foe Connecticut College tomorrow at 3 p.m.
Middlebury jumped out to an 8-2 lead at the 4:07 mark, sparked by a two and a three from Reagan McDonald. Trinity cut the deficit to one at 8-7 on a layup from sophomore center Elizabeth Althoff (Staten Island, N.Y.) with 48 seconds remaining in the first quarter, but a layup by Kira Waldman extended the Panther advantage to 10-7 heading into the second stanza.
The Bantams went on a 10-0 run over the first 4:33 of the second quarter, capped by a three pointer by senior tri-captain forward Devan Walsh (Danvers, Mass.) to make it 17-10. Trailing 21-15, Middlebury's Betsy Knox converted a three-point play, bringing the Panthers within three with 3:28 showing on the clock. Later, a free throw by Trinity rookie guard Madison Stevens (Burlington, Conn.) gave Trinity a 23-20 edge heading into the locker room.
Out of the break, Middlebury's Michaela Sullivan made a layup to cut the deficit to 23-22 at the 8:26 mark. The Bantams went on a 7-0 burst over the ensuing 2:56, increasing the advantage to 30-22 on an Althoff put-back. The Panthers responded with a 6-1 spurt, bringing them within three at 31-28 with 4:30 showing on the clock. Later in the third, a pair of free throws from Knox knotted the game 37-37, but the Bantams answered with a three-pointer by rookie guard Naia Saddler (Boyds, Md.) and a traditional three-pointer by senior tri-captain Peace Kabari (Manchester, N.H.) to lead, 43-37 at the final break.
The teams traded baskets early on, before a pair of charity tosses from Kabari gave the visitors a 10-point advantage (56-46) with 4:24 to go. A three from McDonald cut the deficit to eight (60-52) with 1:55 remaining, but Trinity hung on for the 65-54 victory. Kabari led Trinity with 13 points, grabbed a game-high 12 boards and blocked three shots. Althoff had 12 points, seven rebounds and three blocks, while Saddler recorded 12 points and grabbed seven boards off the bench. Maya Davis recorded a game-high 14 points to go along with seven rebounds, while McDonald tallied 13 points. Knox grabbed a team-high 10 boards and chipped in with nine points.