Middlebury dropped its first game of the year, falling by a score of 50-47 on the road at Rensselaer (RPI) on Thursday evening. The Engineers snapped a three-game losing streak and improve to 4-4, while the Panthers (3-1) saw their three-game winning streak come to an end. Middlebury returns to action on Tuesday when it hosts Colby-Sawyer in a non-league game at 7:00 p.m.
The game was tied 33-33 after three quarters and the teams continued to trade baskets in the fourth quarter. With the score tied 42-42, Rensselaer got a layup from Shaina Iton with 2:55 to play and three free throws from Sam Krumbhaar within a minute later for a lead (46-42) that the Engineers would not relinquish. Betsy Knox knocked down a jumper to pull the visitors to within two points (46-44), but Krumbhaar made two more from the foul line.
A Catherine Harrison free throw followed by a layup from the center after a Krumbhaar free throw pulled Middlebury to within 49-47 with seven seconds remaining, but Elizabeth Eckhardt made a free throw and then stole the ball off her missed second shot and the game ended in RPI's favor.
Eckhardt made 7-12 shots from the field and went 3-4 from long range to finish with a game-high 20 points. Krumbhaar added 12 points, while Iton had six points, a team-high 10 rebounds, three blocked shots and four steals.
Harrison finished with a double-double of 17 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, and four blocked shots. Alex Huffman added seven points, seven rebounds, five steals and three assists.
Neither team shot particularly well in the game, as Middlebury went 14-49 (.286) and Rensselaer converted 16-54 (.296) attempts. The Engineers forced 29 turnovers, while the Panther defense earned 20.