#1 Amherst Pulls Away in Second Half From Middlebury

Lily Kuntz tallied 11 points in Saturday's contest with Amherst.
Lily Kuntz tallied 11 points in Saturday's contest with Amherst.

The Middlebury women's basketball team hung with top-ranked Amherst (24-0, 10-0) for two quarters, but the Mammoths pulled away in the second half for 68-41 victory on Saturday in the regular-season finale for both teams. Middlebury (17-7, 6-4) earned the No. 4 seed in the upcoming NESCAC Tournament, and will hosting a quarterfinal match-up next weekend in Pepin Gym.

The Mammoths tallied the first 10 points of the opening quarter, capped on a jumper from Hannah Fox at the 3:33 mark. Middlebury got on the scoreboard with 2:45 remaining on a three-point field goal by Lily Kuntz, as the Panthers missed their first nine shots of the game. A layup from Hannah Hackley in the final minute of the opening stanza gave the Mammoths a 16-5 advantage after one quarter.

In the second, the Panthers chipped away at the deficit, cutting it to six (20-14) on a three by Kuntz with 6:35 left. Four quick points by Amherst pushed its lead back to 10, as the Mammoths took a 25-15 lead into the halftime break.

Out of the locker room, the Mammoths put together a 13-5 run over the initial 4:33, grabbing a 38-20 lead on a three from Fox. That advantage grew to as many as 26 (52-26) on a three from Meghan Sullivan with 11 seconds left.

The final quarter saw Middlebury pull within 19 (54-35) on a three by Emily Wander with 7:33 remaining. Amherst recorded the next 10 points and cruised to the 68-41 victory.

Kuntz paced the Panthers with 11 points and three steals, while Maya Davis added nine points for the Panthers. Sabrina Weeks chipped in with six points and a pair of blocked shots, while Wander knocked down two threes for six points in eight minutes of action. Kira Waldman added five points and five rebounds.

Fox led four Mammoths in double figures with 16 points to go along with eight rebounds. Hackley added 15 points, while McCarthy had 11 points to go along with nine boards and five steals. Madeline Eck was the fourth player in double figures with 10 points.

The Panthers were held to 31.3 percent from the field (15-48), while Amherst made 49.1 percent (28-57) of its attempts for the contest.