Middlebury saw its school-record 12-game winning streak to start the season come to an end with an 84-79 road loss at Westfield State (7-7) on Tuesday. The 25th-ranked Panthers (12-1) return to action on Friday when they host Bates at 7:00 p.m.
After a see-saw first half, Middlebury built a 12-point lead, 59-47 on a Maya Davis putback with 2:56 remaining, and the Panthers held a nine-point lead, 61-52 after three quarters.
Westfield State rallied, tying the game at 67-67 on a Kierra McCarthy free throw with 7:21 to play
The Owls held a 77-75 lead after a Davis layup with 2:31 to play, but Lucy Barrett took control with a driving layup for an 81-77 advantage. She then sank a pair of free throws with 58 seconds left to put Westfield State up, 83-79.
Allison Hester's free throw with 2.2 seconds left proved to be the icing on the cake for Westfield State.
Colleen Caveney led the Panthers with 24 points, while Davis netted 20 on 9-13 shooting with 12 boards for her fourth double-double of the season. Betsy Knox shot 5-6 to score 14 points off the bench, while Alex Huffman dished out eight assists and grabbed six rebounds.
Barrett scored a game-high 31 points for Westfield State, earning eight rebounds and four steals. Melissa Gray added 20 points in the victory.
Middlebury continued its dominance on the boards (second nationally) with a 46-38 advantage. The Panthers scoring defense is also ranked second nationally (44.8 ppg), but gave up 84 to a fast-paced Owl team.