Big Fourth Quarter Sparks Panthers Past Mt. St. Mary

Betsy Knox averaged 18 points and 13.5 rebounds/game over four contests.
Betsy Knox averaged 18 points and 13.5 rebounds/game over four contests.

Middlebury outscored Mount Saint Mary College 26-7 in the fourth quarter, lifting the Panthers to a 58-47 home triumph over the Knights on Tuesday. Middlebury (8-1) gets quick start to the 2020 portion of the schedule, hosting St. John Fisher on Thursday at 4:00 p.m., while the Mt. St. Mary (6-3) entertains The Sage Colleges the same day at 6:00 p.m.

The Knights netted the first five points of the contest in the initial two minutes with Morina Bojka sinking a three pointer for the cushion. The visitors led by as many as six points (10-4) in the opening 10 minutes, with the Panthers using a 6-0 run, capped by a put-back from Betsy Knox to tie the score at 10-10. Mt, St. Mary closed out the frame with three-straight points to lead 13-10.

Middlebury led for the first time with 1:39 expired in the second stanza, as Kamryn You Mak drove the lane for a running jumper and a 15-13 edge. The teams went back-and-forth for the next three minutes, with Knox sinking a layup for the hosts making it a 20-18 contest. The Knights finished strong, netting the final nine points, including buckets by Toriana Tabasco and Bojka in the final minute for a 27-20 lead at the half.

Tabasco started the third frame with a three-pointer for the Knights, pushing the margin to double digits. A basket by Mt. St. Mary's Annie Keenan made it 34-22, but the hosts cut the deficit to 40-32 by the end of the frame.

The Panthers trailed 41-34 with eight minutes on the clock in the final period, but back-to-back threes by Kira Waldman quickly pulled the hosts back to within 41-40. Bojka sank a trey to extend the difference to 44-40, with Middlebury poised to go on a big 12-0 run. A basket by Alyna Baharozian and two free throws from Maya Davis knotted the score at 44-44, while moments later, Baharozian connected from behind the three-point arc and Davis hit from in the paint. The run continued as Davis and Baharozian each hit from the field with Reagan McDonald adding a free throw for a 52-44 lead. The Panthers iced the game in the final minute, going a perfect 6-6 from the foul line for a 58-47 win.

Knox recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 14 points and career-high 16 rebounds. Baharozian tied for the team lead with 14 points, while Waldman netted 13 points, going 3-4 from three-point range to go along with three steals. Davis had a steady game with nine points, seven boards and three assists.

Bojka paced the Knights with 16 points, while Tabasco notched a double-double of her won with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Middlebury held a 49-34 edge on the boards hit 37.3 percent (19-51) from the floor, while limiting Mt. St. Mary to 29.7 percent (19-64).          

The victory was also the 100th career win for Panther head coach KJ Krasco.