NEW LONDON — The Colby-Sawyer College women’s basketball team defeated Middlebury, 72-65, to hand the Panthers their first loss of the season on Saturday.
The victory is the first against Middlebury since Jan. 2013. The 72 points is the most allowed by Middlebury all season.
Colby-Sawyer improves to 7-1. The Chargers traveled to NVU-Lyndon on Tuesday for a 5:30 p.m. tip. Middlebury, coached Colby-Sawyer Athletics Hall of Famer KJ Krasco '05, suffers its first loss to drop to 6-1. The Panthers are back in action on Dec. 17 at Nazareth.
All of Colby-Sawyer’s points were scored by five players. Senior Lexie Hamilton (Sunapee) led the team with 19 points to go with eight rebounds. Senior Tianna Sugars (Oxford, Maine) posted an impressive double-double of 15 points and a career-high 21 rebounds. First-year Caitlyn Boucher (Swanzey) scored a season best 15 points, while senior Kristen Donaghey (Franklin, Mass.) added 13 points and was 7-of-8 from the free throw line. Junior Joslin Wainwright (Plainfield) chipped in 10 points.
Middlebury was led by senior Kira Waldman (San Francisco, Calif.). She poured in a career-high 31 points to go with seven rebounds. First-year Reagan McDonald (Holden, Mass.) added eight points. Seniors Maya Davis (Dedham, Mass.) and Lily Kuntz (Villanova, Pa.) registered seven points apiece.
The visitors raced out to a 10-2 advantage in the first six minutes of the contest, but Colby-Sawyer rallied for the remainder of the frame to take a 14-13 lead on a Wainwright jumper. The Chargers added four free throws, sandwiched around a Waldman basket for Middlebury, to take a 18-15 lead after 10 minutes.
Colby-Sawyer held the lead until the 3:41 mark when Waldman connected on her lone trey of the first half to give the Panthers a 29-28 advantage. The Chargers then held the Panthers scoreless for the remainder of the quarter and finished with a 6-0 run to take a 34-29 lead into halftime. Hamilton had 15 at the half, while Waldman led Middlebury with nine.
Colby-Sawyer carried the momentum of the second quarter into the third as the team saw its lead balloon to 12, 43-31, after a Wainwright fast-break layup. The Panthers cut the deficit to five with less than two minutes to go, but Donaghey scored the final four points of the frame to give Colby-Sawyer a 52-43 lead heading into the fourth.
A Boucher jumper, at 7:24 in the fourth, gave the Chargers their largest lead of the contest at 60-45. Middlebury answered with a 7-0 run to cut into the lead and later pulled within four after a three-point play by Waldman with 1:04 left. The Panthers were forced to foul for the remainder of the contest and Colby-Sawyer made some free throws to secure the 72-65 victory.
Waldman scored 22 of the Panthers’ 36 points in the second half.
Colby-Sawyer outrebounded Middlebury 52-37. The Chargers were 26-of-35 from the free throw line, while Middlebury made 17-of-21.