No. 25 Panthers Use First-Half Runs In Win Over Bates

Emily Wander finished with 10 points in Friday's win. (Will Costello)
Emily Wander finished with 10 points in Friday's win. (Will Costello)

Middlebury utilized runs of 12-0 and 11-0 during the first two quarters on its way to a 70-58 victory Friday over Bates (5-6, 1-2) in Pepin Gymnasium. The Panthers (13-1, 2-1) return to action on Saturday when they host sixth-ranked Tufts at 3:00 p.m., while the Bobcats play at Williams at the same time.

Leading 5-4 at the 6:24 mark of the opening quarter, Middlebury rattled off a 12-0 run spanning 5:43, for a 17-5 edge. Emily Wander had five points for the hosts during the spurt. The Bobcats pulled to within 10 (17-7) after one quarter on a layup from Meghan Graff in the final seconds.

After a three-point field goal by Grace Hoehl moved the visitors to within 17-10, the Panthers tallied an 11-0 run over the next 4:15 of the second stanza for a 28-10 lead with 5:12 left. Both teams were unable to find an offensive rhythm over the final minutes, as the Panthers went into the halftime break with a 30-17 lead.

The third quarter saw the hosts score the first seven points in the initial 1:04, grabbing a 37-17 advantage on a layup from Colleen Caveney. Bates utilized a 10-4 run covering 2:33, closing the gap to 41-27 on a three from Ariana Dalia. Middlebury responded with the next six points, increasing its lead back to 20, holding a 53-37 lead at the end of the quarter.

The Panthers opened the final frame with a 13-3 run, grabbing their largest lead of the contest at 27 (66-39) with 6:00 left on a layup from Betsy Knox. The Bobcats tallied 19 of the last 23 points for the final 70-58 score.

Kira Waldman led four players in double figures with 14 points, while Caveney chipped in with 11. Wander and Knox netted 10 points each for the hosts, while Catherine Harrison added eight points. Alex Huffman produced seven points and a team-best eight rebounds, while Maya Davis pulled down seven and Waldman added six boards.

Mia Roy paced the Bobcats with 15 points, including four threes, while Julia Middlebrook chipped in with 11 points. Dalia finished with five points, a game-high five steals and a pair of blocked shots for Bates.

Middlebury, who ranks third in the nation in rebounding margin, held a 40-25 edge on the boards.