Hartford, Conn. - Senior tri-captain guards Kaitlin Ciarleglio (Waterbury, Conn.) and Michelle Royals (Torrington, Conn.) combined for 35 points to lead the Trinity College Bantams to a 60-47 victory over the visiting Middlebury College Panthers in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) women's basketball action this evening on Ogrodnik Court in the Oosting Gymnasium. Trinity improves to 9-11 overall and 3-6 in the NESCAC with its second win in a row, while the Panthers falls to 7-16 overall and 0-9 in the league. The victory vaults Trinity into the NESCAC Championship Tournament for the eighth straight season, and the No. 8-seeded Bantams will play at top-seeded Amherst in the quarterfinals on Saturday, February 18.
Trinity opened up a 7-2 lead early but saw the Panthers come right back to tie the game at 11-11 on a lay up by Katie Pett (Saginaw, Mich.). The Bantams went ahead by double digits with seven minutes left in the first half on back-to-back-to-back three-pointers, as Royals drilled one from beyond the arc followed by back-to-back long balls by Ciarelglio. Trinity led, 33-25, at the break as Ciarleglio and Royals totaled 21 first-half points between them, and the Bantams forced 11 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes.Trinity quickly upped its lead back to double digits and maintained at least a 10-point lead rest of the way.
Ciarleglio led all scorers with 18 points to go with four rebounds, a game-high five assists, and three steals, while Royals finished with 17 points and three assists. Bantam sophomore forward Moriah Sweeney (Ramsey, N.J.) had eight points, seven rebounds, three assists, and four steals, and classmate Taylor Murtaugh (Bronx, N.Y.) added seven rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. Junior Tracy Borsinger (Chatham, N.J.) paced Middlebury with 17 points and six rebounds, while senior tri-captain Stephany Surrette (Worcester, Mass.) and sophomore Scarlett Kirk (San Francisco, Calif.) grabbed eight rebounds apiece. The Panthers outrebounded Trinity, 45-35, but committed 23 turnovers. Trinity shot 40 percent from long range (6-15).