Middlebury outscored Sage 31-12 in the fourth quarter, on its way to a 73-54 win over the Gators (2-5) on Tuesday evening in Pepin Gym. The Panthers (6-0) return to action at Colby-Sawyer on Saturday at 2:00 p.m., while Sage visits Westfield on the same day with a noon start.
A back and forth first quarter saw the Panthers jump out to a 6-0 lead on a pair of threes by Kira Waldman. Trailing 11-7, Sage went on a 7-0 run, sparked by a three from Gessica Patreganani, to take a 14-11 lead at the 4:50 mark.
Sage led 20-18 after one quarter and held a 27-23 advantage at the 4:00 mark of the second. Middlebury followed with a 10-0 run, holding a 33-27 lead after Gianna Palli knocked down a three-pointer with 1:25 on the clock. A late three by Sage's Sammy Pasinella left the Panthers with a 35-32 advantage at the break.
A low-scoring third quarter saw Sage hold the Panthers to just one point in the final 8:14, leaving the game knotted at 42-42 heading into the final frame.
Leading 56-50 with 5:13 remaining, the hosts closed the game on a 15-4 run to emerge with the 73-54 victory. The Panthers were a red-hot 11-15 (.733) from the floor during the fourth quarter, connecting on 4-6 from long distance.
Waldman led all scorers with 21 points to go along with four assists, while Reagan McDonald scored 14 off the bench. Maya Davis finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, surpassing the 500-career rebound plateau with 501. She also added career-best five assists and three blocks, while Palli netted 11 points in the win.
Patregnani led Sage with 14 points, Megan Flynn added 11 with eight rebounds, while Kaitlyn Bowman scored 10 to go along with eight rebounds and five assists.
Middlebury held a 38-30 edge on the boards and shot 49.1 percent from the floor in the win.