Panther men’s hoop opens up with victories

BIDDEFORD, Maine — The Middlebury College men’s basketball team opened its season by winning a four-team tournament at the University of New England this past weekend. The Panthers defeated the host Nor’easters (1-1) in Sunday’s final, 69-67, after topping Mitchell in Saturday’s first round, 101-71. Middlebury returns to action this weekend at another tournament, this one at Bridgewater (Mass.) State.
On Sunday, Connor Huff’s offensive rebound as time expired snapped a 67-67 tie and gave the Panthers (2-0) the victory.
A see-saw first half saw the game tied five times before a late hoop by Dylan Sinnickson gave the Panthers a 34-32 lead at the break.
Middlebury twice led by seven in the second half, but the Nor’easters tied the game at 57-57 with 5:44 remaining. UNE soon afterward took its first lead of the half, 60-59, on a three from Devin Thompson.
Two free throws from Jake Brown at 1:19 made it 67-65. Thompson knocked down a pair for the Nor’easters with 16 seconds remaining to make it 67-67. Huff then put back in a Sinnickson miss for the game-winner.
Sinnickson finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds, while Hunter Merryman scored 15. Matt St. Amour added 10 points, Huff finished with nine points and eight rebounds, and Brown dished out five assists. The Panthers held a 52-38 rebounding advantage. Thompson led all scorers with 31 points, including 13-13 from the charity stripe.
On Saturday, Merryman, Sinnickson and St. Amour combined for 75 points on 29-for-46 shooting to lead Middlebury to the 101-71 win over Mitchell.
The Panthers put the game away by opening the second half with a 17-4 run to lead, 66-39. Middlebury outrebounded its opponents, 65-39.
Sinnickson scored 26 points to go along with 11 rebounds, while Merryman netted 25 points and grabbed 13 boards. St. Amour tossed in 24 points, while Jake Brown and Jack Daly each dished out eight assists.
Sinnickson was named the tournament MVP, while Merryman also earned a spot on the all-tournament team.

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