Women's basketball can't overcome slow start in 70-58 loss at No. 25 Middlebury

First-year Mia Roy scored a game-high 15 points at No. 25 nationally ranked Middlebury on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- After being outscored 17-7 in the first quarter, the Bates women's basketball team went toe-to-toe with No. 25 nationally ranked Middlebury before falling 70-58 on the road Friday night to the Panthers. 

First-year Mia Roy (Bedford, N.H.) paced the Bobcats with a game-high 15 points in her return to the rotation, including four threes, while sophomore Julia Middlebrook (Ridgefield, Conn.) chipped in with 11 points.

Kira Waldman led four Middlebury players in double figures with 14 points, while Colleen Caveney chipped in with 11. Emily Wander and Betsy Knox netted 10 points each for the hosts, while Catherine Harrison added eight points. Alex Huffman produced seven points and a team-best eight rebounds, while Maya Davis pulled down seven and Waldman added six boards.

Bates (5-6, 1-2 NESCAC) went up 4-0 to start the game when first-years Ariana Dalia (Brick, N.J.) and Meghan Graff (South Portland, Maine) tallied back-to-back buckets. Dalia finished with five points, a game-high five steals and a pair of blocked shots for Bates.

But the Panthers (13-1, 4-0 NESCAC) immediately went on a 9-0 run to take the lead for good. First-year Amaari Williams (Brooklyn, N.Y.) split a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to 9-5 before the Panthers went on a 8-0 run to open up a 17-5 lead. Graff ended the first quarter with a layup to make it a 10-point game.

First-year Grace Hoehl (South Burlington, Vt.) opened the second quarter with a three-pointer, making the score 17-10. But the Panthers went on an 11-0 run to go up 28-10. 

The Panthers continued to keep the Bobcats at arm's length, outscoring Bates by three points in both the second and the third quarters of action.

Down by 16 entering the fourth quarter, the Bobcats once again displayed their never-say-die attitude, outscoring the Panthers 21-17 down the stretch. Bates has outscored its opponent in the fourth quarter in all three of the Bobcats' NESCAC games so far this year. 

Trailing 70-44 with 3:55 left, the Bobcats ended the game on a 14-0 run. Roy got the run started with a three-pointer and Middlebrook followed with a three of her own. Junior Melanie Binkhorst (West Hartford, Conn.) followed with a layup and then Roy hit another three to make the score 70-55 with 1:50 left. Roy split a pair of free throws and Middlebrook made a layup to complete the run as time expired. 

The Bobcats look to pick up their second NESCAC win of the year when they visit Williams Saturday for a 3pm tip.