Panther men’s hoop outlasts Skidmore

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — Freshman Matt St. Amour scored a career-high 27 points to help the Middlebury College men’s basketball team get past host Skidmore, 89-84, on Saturday, in the Panthers’ final game of the first semester.
The Panthers (6-2) built a comfortable lead late in the game before the Thoroughbreds made it a one-possession game in the final seconds before a Jack Roberts dunk with eight seconds left gave the visitors some breathing room.?  
Vergennes Union High School graduate Connor Merrill scored 11 points and picked up five rebounds for the 3-2 Thoroughbreds, who were led by Aldin Medunjanin’s 31 points.
Skidmore used five straight points from Medunjanin to take an early 16-11 lead. Middlebury eventually took its first two-possession lead with 10 minutes to play in the first on a three-pointer by Joey Kizel.?Middlebury continued to knock down shots over the final four minutes of the first, closing the half with a 14-7 run to take a 42-34 lead into the break.? ?
The Thoroughbreds cut the Middlebury lead to two with an 8-2 run to start the second, including a Merrill layup for the first basket of the half.  But?St. Amour hit back-to-back threes to give the Panthers a 53-44 lead.
After Skidmore came within one at 56-55, the Panthers countered with a 15-4 run to take 71-59 lead with seven minutes remaining. St. Amour increased the Middlebury advantage to a seemingly comfortable 14 points with less than five minutes to play, driving in from the wing for a layup.? ?
Medunjanin brought the Thoroughbreds back within striking distance with less than three minutes remaining, rattling off seven straight points to cut the deficit to 77-72. While Skidmore was forced to foul late in the game, Middlebury converted on its free throws down the stretch, but threes by Merrill and Tanner Brooks made it 87-84 with 17 seconds left to play.
Skidmore tried to double-team the inbounds pass, but Middlebury beat the press and fed Roberts for the clinching dunk.
St. Amour hit eight of 14 from the field and seven for seven from the line. As a team the Panthers connected on 23 of 27 from the charity stripe. Kizel added 24 points, including four for five, from three-point range, and Hunter Merryman scored 11.

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