Hot Shooting Performance Propels Middlebury Past Williams

Kira Waldman scored 17 points in Sunday's victory, including going 5-7 from beyond the three-point line.
Kira Waldman scored 17 points in Sunday's victory, including going 5-7 from beyond the three-point line.

Middlebury knocked down a program single-game record 14 three-pointers (14-24, 58.3 percent) on Sunday en route to an 85-57 NESCAC victory over Williams in Pepin Gymnasium. The Panthers (13-3, 4-1) return to the court on Wednesday for a 7:00 p.m. contest at Castleton, while Williams (12-6, 2-4) hosts Amherst at the same time.

The teams traded small leads over the first seven minutes of the opening quarter. With the score tied at 11-11 with 3:07 left, the Panthers put together an 8-2 run over the next 2:33, fueled by threes from Sarah Kaufman and Kira Waldman, for a 19-13 advantage. Williams' Lauren Vostal knocked down a three in the closing seconds of the quarter, giving the hosts a three-point edge headed to the second.

In the second quarter, Williams pulled to within two (22-20) on a pair of free throws from Emily Peckham with 6:26 remaining. The Panthers closed the stanza on a 15-1 run, highlighted by eight points and a pair of threes from Waldman, for a 37-21 lead at the halftime break. Middlebury knocked down 53.8 percent (7-13) of its shots in the quarter including a trio of threes, limiting the Ephs to 1-11 (9.1 percent) shooting from the floor and 0-5 from beyond the arc.

Out of the break, Williams chipped away and cut the deficit to 13 (45-32) at the 5:47 mark on a three from Devon Caveney. The Panthers answered with an 8-0 spurt of their own spanning the next two minutes, including a pair of three from Colleen Caveney and a fastbreak layup from Alex Huffman for a 21-point bulge (52-31) with 3:48 left. The hosts' advantage hovered around the 20-point mark over the remainder of the quarter, taking a 61-38 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Panthers maintained their double-digit lead over the final stanza, pushing it to as many as 30 (82-52) on a three from Kaufman with just under three minutes left before cruising to the win.

Betsy Knox and Waldman finished tied for game-high honors with 17 points apiece, leading led a balanced Middlebury scoring effort which saw five players in double figures. Waldman knocked down 6-8 of her attempts from the floor during her career day, including 5-7 from beyond the arc. Colleen Caveney finished with 15 points, including a perfect 3-3 from distance, while Catherine Harrison had a double-double consisting of 11 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. The double-double is Harrison's fifth this season and the 15th of her career. Kaufman finished with 11 points and three assists, while Huffman chipped in with five rebounds, a team-best five assists and four points.

Devon Caveney finished with a team-high 16 points, including a 5-7 performance from beyond the arc for Williams, while Peckham also wound up in double figures with 10 points. Kristen Fechtelkotter chipped in with eight points and a team-best seven rebound, while Amanni Fernandez ended her day with six points and five assists.

As a team, Middlebury held a 39-27 rebounding advantage led by Harrison's 10, converting on 51.7 percent of its shots (30-58) and did not commit a turnover for more than a 14-minute stretch spanning the final three quarters.