Sarah Kaufman tied a single-game program record with seven made three-point field goals, leading Middlebury to a 76-62 victory at Wesleyan on Friday in the NESCAC opener for both teams. The Panthers (9-2, 1-0) remain on the road Saturday with a 1:00 p.m. tipoff at Connecticut College, while the Cardinals (5-6, 0-1) entertain Hamilton at 3:00 p.m.
In the opening quarter, Wesleyan jumped out to a 7-0 lead within the first 1:48 of play. The Panthers responded with an 8-0 run of their own to take a lead at the 6:20 mark, capped off on a layup from Catherine Harrison. A three-pointer from Wesleyan's Olivia Gorman the hosts back on top, 12-10, and the Cardinals never trailed over the remainder of the quarter with a 21-16 lead after one.
The hosts increased the lead to seven at the 8:29 mark with a 25-18 advantage on a layup by Tara Berger, their largest of the game. Middlebury responded with a 10-2 run to go ahead by one at 28-27 on a free throw from Alex Huffman with 2:39 to play before the break. A layup by Harrison with 30 seconds remaining gave the Panthers a 32-29 halftime lead.
The visitors started to pull away in the third quarter with an 11-1 run capped off by an old-fashioned three-point play from Harrison with 5:44 left. Ava Tompkins hit consecutive three-pointers for the Cardinals as Wesleyan got within 10 (48-38) following a lay-up by Kadijah Mathews at the 3:15 mark. It proved to be the closest the Cardinals would get the rest of the stanza, as the Panthers maintained a 12-point edge at 52-40 after three quarters.
In the final 10 minutes, Kaufman sealed the victory for the Panthers going a perfect 5-5 from the field, including 4-4 from three-point range as the visitors cruised the victory.
Kaufman knocked down 7-9 three-point field goals en route to a game-high and season-best 25 points. She joins Ashley Barron (1/5/08) in the record books with the seven threes made. Harrison recorded her second double-double of the season and 12th of her career with 20 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Colleen Caveney chipped in with eight points and five rebounds, while Betsy Knox pulled down nine rebounds to go with four points.
As a team, the Panthers shot 61.5 percent (8-13) from behind the arc and held a decisive 45-25 rebounding edge.
Berger paced the Cardinals with 19 points to go along with five rebounds. Maeve Vitale joined her in double figures with 11 points, while Chynna Bailey led the Cardinals with nine boards. Mathews dished out a team-high four assists and recorded a game-high three steals.