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Women's basketball opens big lead, beats Middlebury

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- What a difference a day made for the Colby College women's basketball team in a huge 71-62 NESCAC victory over Middlebury College on Saturday.
 
While the Mules were falling to Williams College on Friday, Middlebury had a 13-point fourth quarter lead against top-ranked Bowdoin College before the Polar Bears pulled out a four-point win.
 
"I’m so proud of the way our team showed up and competed today against a strong Middlebury team," Colby head coach Brittany Gaetano said. "It truly was a total team effort on both ends of the court." 
 
The Mules (9-12 overall, 2-6 NESCAC) came ready to play Saturday and led 60-35 after three quarters over the same Panthers (17-5, 4-4) who nearly knocked off the No. 1 team in the country the night before.
 
By the numbers
* Everyone who played for the Mules made an impact, including Katie McCrum with 17 points, five rebounds, four assists, and three 3-point shots.
 
* Ainsley Burns added 15 points and went 3-for-4 from 3-point range. Paige Russell had nine points, all on three-pointers, and added seven rebounds and three assists.
 
* Sarah Hancock had one of her best games of the season with  3-for-3 shooting from long range for nine points and a game-high five assists. Grace Coutu and Keagan Dunbar both had eight points, while Jane MacKerron (pictured) blocked a game-high four shots and pulled down six rebounds.
 
* Colby shot 61.9 percent (13-for-21) from 3-point range, 49 percent from the field (25-of-51), and 88.9 percent (8-for-9) from the foul line.
 
* Maya Davis led the Panthers with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
 
Game highlights
*  The Mules led 22-13 after the opening quarter and then scored eight of the first 10 points of the second quarter to go up 30-15. 
 
* Burns hit a late three to give the Mules a 39-23 lead at halftime. The Mules extended the lead to 50-27 when Hancock nailed a three with 4:40 to play in the third quarter. 
 
* The Panthers used a 16-3 run to get within 12 points at 63-51 and got as close as 69-62 before Colby hit late free throws.