Steiner '20 nets 13 points in women's basketball NESCAC loss

Marie Steiner '20 (Josh McKee photo)
Marie Steiner '20 (Josh McKee photo)

Middlebury College took the lead for good with six straight points late in the fourth quarter and the Panthers went on to post a 58-55 NESCAC win against the Hamilton College Continentals at Hamilton's Margaret Bundy Scott Field House on Friday night.

Marie Steiner '20 paced the Continentals (10-10, 0-8 NESCAC) with 13 points and a career-high five assists. Carly O'Hern '20 chipped in 10 points and Liz Arnold '22 added eight. Halie Serbent '19 grabbed eight rebounds and blocked two shots.

Middlebury (18-5, 5-4) pulled out the victory despite going 0 of 11 from 3-point range. The Panthers held a 41-32 edge on the glass, outscored Hamilton 38-20 in the paint, and turned the ball over just nine times.

Middlebury's Kira Waldman recorded a double-double with 15 points and 12 boards. Colleen Caveney registered 10 points and three steals, and Betsy Knox contributed eight points and three blocked shots. The Panthers snapped their losing skid at three games and are in fifth place in the conference standings with one NESCAC contest remaining.

Steiner found Serbent for a layup that gave the Continentals their last lead at 49-48 with 5:41 left. A basket in the paint by Waldman 18 seconds later put Middlebury in front to stay. Neither team scored for the next two minutes until the Panthers' Maya Davis was fouled and made two free throws with 3:00 remaining. A layup by Caveney handed Middlebury its largest lead of five points at 54-49 with 2:25 to go.

Steiner buried a 3-pointer and pulled Hamilton back within two with 1:15 left, and O'Hern made it 54-53 after she went 1-for-2 at the free-throw line with 43.2 seconds remaining. Alex Huffman put the Panthers up by three on a pair of free throws with 22 seconds to go, but Serbent cut the Continentals' deficit to one again after she grabbed a missed 3-pointer and made the putback with 8.7 seconds left. Middlebury called a 30-second timeout and Davis was fouled on the Panthers' ensuing inbounds pass without any time lost on the clock. Davis calmly made both free throws and then got a piece of Hamilton's 3-point shot attempt just before the final buzzer sounded.

Neither team led by more than six points and there were six ties and 11 lead changes. Hamilton jumped out to a 6-0 advantage in the opening minute after back-to-back 3-pointers by O'Hern and Steiner. Middlebury countered with a 12-2 run for a 12-8 edge before the Continentals scored the next nine points. Waldman ended the quarter by rebounding her own miss and making the layup just before time expired as she cut Hamilton's cushion to 17-14.

The Panthers limited the Continentals to eight points in the second quarter and took a 28-25 lead into the break on the strength of six points by Catherine Harrison during the quarter. Hamilton led by six points again at 23-17 and 25-19 but Middlebury scored the last nine points before the half.

The largest lead for either team in the third quarter was four points and the Continentals went into the final 10 minutes clinging to a 44-42 edge. Hamilton was 8 of 16 from the floor in the third quarter.

The Continentals host Williams College (10-13, 4-5) in their last home game this season at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9. Hamilton will honor its four seniors prior to the start of the NESCAC contest.