The Middlebury women's basketball team pushed #3 Bowdoin during Friday's first two quarters, but the Polar Bears (20-1, 6-1) pulled away in the second half for a 70-52 NESCAC victory. The Panthers (15-6, 4-3) return to action on Saturday at Colby beginning at 3:00 p.m.
The Polar Bears jumped to an early lead, forcing a Middlebury timeout with a game-opening 10-2 run over the first 3:23 of action. The Panthers clawed back and outscored Bowdoin 8-6 over the final six minutes of the period, cutting the lead to 16-10 after ten minutes.
Middlebury continued its hot shooting in the second quarter, connecting on 57 percent (8-14) of its shots. The visitors knocked down a trio of three pointers, outscoring Bowdoin by a 19-14 count in the stanza. The Panthers took the lead at 23-20 on a three-pointer from Colleen Caveney with 4:12 left. The Polar Bears chipped away at the deficit, regaining the lead at 25-23 on a three from Abby Kelly before carrying a 30-29 edge into halftime.
Out of the break, a three from Kira Waldman on Middlebury's first possession put the visitors ahead 32-30. Bowdoin put together a 13-2 run over the four minutes of play, grabbing a 43-34 lead via a three from Kate Kerrigan with 5:02 remaining. The Polar Bear lead hovered around double digits over the next few minutes, before a three from Betsy Knox with 24 seconds left brought Middlebury to within six (49-43) headed to the final quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Bowdoin outscored Middlebury by a 12-3 count over the first five minutes of the stanza and eased to the win.
Alex Huffman, Caveney and Maya Davis each finished with 10 points for the Panthers, while Davis and Knox pulled down five rebounds apiece. Catherine Harrison chipped in with six points and five boards off the bench, while Sabrina Weeks added five points and five rebounds.
Sam Roy led all scorers with 13 points for Bowdoin while Kelly added 12. Kate Kerrigan had five points, 12 rebounds, four steals and four assists for the Polar Bears.