Middlebury pushed top-ranked Bowdoin (21-0, 7-0) to the edge, but the Polar Bears came back from a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter to squeak out a 62-58 win on Friday night in Pepin Gym. The Panthers (17-4, 4-3) return to action on Saturday when they host Colby at 3:00 p.m., while the Polar Bears visit Williams at the same time.
Bowdoin jumped out to a 12-3 lead in the contest's first 4:46, behind four points from Cordelia Stewart. Middlebury responded, scoring 10 of the next 11 points to tie the game at 13-13 after the first 10 minutes of play.
The Polar Bears led by four (22-18) in the second quarter when Stewart converted a layup with 6:22 remaining. That would be Bowdoin's final points of the half as the hosts scored 16-straight points to hold a 33-22 halftime lead. Colleen Caveney was hot from behind the arc, knocking down three from long range during the run.
The Panthers held a 25-16 rebounding edge the in the first half, converting 4-8 threes, while Bowdoin went 0-7 behind the arc.
Middlebury maintained its lead in the third quarter, outscoring Bowdoin 17-15 to hold a 50-37 lead after 30 minutes. The Panthers led by as many as 14 on four different occasions.
Bowdoin scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to cut the lead to eight (50-42), but Maya Davis answered for the Panthers. Trailing 54-44, the Polar Bears went on a 10-2 run, cutting the margin to a pair (56-54) with 2:32 remaining. Maddie Hasson scored eight of the visitor's 10 points during the spurt.
Two free throws from Davis put Middlebury up by four, but Abby Kelly knocked down a three on the other end with 1:06 remaining, making it a 58-57 game. Following a Middlebury miss, a three-point play from Hasson gave Bowdoin its first lead since early in the second quarter, 60-58. After a timeout, the Panthers were unable to score as Samantha Roy hit a pair of free throws with 10 seconds remaining to seal the 62-58 win.
Davis led Middlebury with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Caveney netted 13 and Catherine Harrison finished with 10 points. Alex Huffman added nine rebounds and four assists in the game. With a blocked shot in the game, Harrison became the school's all-time leader in blocked shots with (98), surpassing Kristy Laramee's '01 total of 97.
Kelly led all scorers with 18 points in the game, while Stewart finished with nine points and five boards. Hasson netted 15 points (13 in the second half) for Bowdoin, to go along with seven rebounds.