Big Third Quarter Propels Middlebury Past Mount Saint Mary

Colleen Caveney earned Most Valuable Player honors in the Emerson Tip-Off Classic.
Colleen Caveney earned Most Valuable Player honors in the Emerson Tip-Off Classic.

The Middlebury women's basketball team outscored Mount Saint Mary (1-2) by a 26-8 count in the third quarter, pulling away for a 59-34 victory on Sunday during the final day of the Emerson Tip-Off Classic. The Panthers (2-0) return to action on Tuesday, traveling to Johnson State for a 5:30 p.m. contest.

Middlebury's Colleen Caveney earned the classic's Most Outstanding Player, finishing the two contests with 19 points, five assists and four rebounds while shooting 58.3 percent (7-12) from the field and 50 percent (4-8) from beyond the arc. Alex Huffman (nine points, 12 rebounds, six assists, six steals) and Sarah Kaufman (17 points, nine rebounds, three assists) also landed spots on the all-classic team.

The Panthers came out strong to start the game on the defensive end, holding the Knights scoreless for the first 8:46 of the first quarter and 0-8 from the field. A jumper from Kira Waldman with 12 seconds remaining gave Middlebury a 9-4 advantage after 10 minutes of play.

In the second quarter, a basket from Katie Smith pulled the Knights to within three at 9-6 on the opening possession of the stanza. The Panthers strung together the next eight points over a span of 5:29, capped off on a layup by Maya Davis. Mount Saint Mary answered with five-straight points to move to within six (17-11) on a jumper by Kayla Cleare with 1:41 left. The Panthers scored five of the final six points of the quarter on a basket from Betsy Knox and a three-point make by Emily Wander for a 22-12 halftime edge.

During the decisive third quarter, the Panthers utilized runs of 14-2 and 8-0 to increase their lead to 48-20, capped off in the final seconds on a three from Wander. Middlebury held Mount Saint Mary to just 22.2 percent (2-9) from the floor and forced seven Knight turnovers in the quarter.

The Panthers were never challenged in the final quarter, growing their lead to as many as 36 (57-21) on a jumper from Waldman with 5:28 left in the contest.

Knox finished with a game-high 12 points for a Middlebury attack that saw 11 players find the scoring column. Caveney finished with nine points and a team-best three assists, while Davis and Waldman each had seven. Catherine Harrison grabbed seven boards and Lily Kuntz pulled down six for the Panthers. Huffman concluded her afternoon with five rebounds and a game-high four steals.

Smith led Mount Saint Mary with 10 points, five rebounds and three assists, while Cleare added eight points and four rebounds.

For the game, Middlebury limited the Knights to just 24.4 percent (10-41) from the field and 8.3 percent (1-12) from beyond the arc as well as 24 turnovers.