Men’s hoops takes second tournament title

BRIDGEWATER, Mass. — The Middlebury men’s basketball team captured its second tournament title in as many weekends by winning the Bridgewater State Invitational this past weekend. The 4-0 Panthers defeating Clark (2-2) in Sunday’s final, 72-67. Middlebury returns to action next Sunday when it hosts RPI in the Panthers’ home opener at 2 p.m.
Trailing by four vs. Clark in the late going, the Panthers scored the final nine points for the victory. A see-saw first half saw the game tied three times over the first 11 minutes, but points from Dylan Sinnickson and Hunter Merryman helped Middlebury to a 46-35 lead at halftime.
Middlebury still led by 11, 55-44, after a Sinnickson jumper at 12:42. Over the next 10 minutes of play, Clark whittled away the deficit and took the lead at 65-63 on a pair of free throws by David Mercier at 2:16. A layup by Mercier made it 67-63 at 1:32.
Sinnickson converted an old-fashioned three-point play on the next Panther, possession, followed by his jumper with 30 seconds remaining that gave Middlebury the lead for good at 68-67. The Panthers then made back-to-back stops on the defensive end, and Merryman and Jack Daly each knocked down a pair of free throws for the final margin.
Sinnickson finished with game highs in points, 26, and rebounds, 16, giving him four double-doubles in as many games this season. He was selected as the tournament’s MVP. Merryman scored 16 in the game to go along with eight rebounds and was also selected to the all-tournament team, while Connor Huff chipped in with eight. Jake Brown finished with six points and six assists. Mercier and Nick Daprato paced the Cougars with 14 points apiece.
On Saturday, Middlebury cruised to a 99-45 victory over Medgar Evers College (1-2) in the opening round.
Sinnickson led the Panthers with 20 points and 14 rebounds, and Hunter Merryman added 21 points. Matt St. Amour, Bryan Jones and Connor Huff each scored eight points in the game, and Jake Brown added seven assists.

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