Panther men’s basketball back in action with two wins

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College men’s basketball team won twice recently as second-semester play opened to improve to 9-0 entering NESCAC play this weekend.
The Panthers will play at Bates on Friday and at Tufts on Sunday. Despite their record, the Panthers remain unranked, although they received votes in the Jan. 6 NCAA Division III poll.
On Jan. 2, the Panthers thumped visiting Salve Regina, 94-66. A 30-12 run in the final 10 minutes of the first half decided matters as the Seahawks dropped to 3-7.
Middlebury held a 12-11 lead before starting its decisive run. Matt St. Amour started the spurt with back-to-back buckets, and during the outburst Dylan Sinnickson scored nine of his game-high 24 points and collected six of his game-best 14 rebounds. At the half, Middlebury led, 42-23. 
Sinnickson, the NESCAC’s leading rebounder at 12.1 per game, finished with his sixth double-double in eight games. Hunter Merryman scored 15, and St. Amour finished with 16 points and dished out a game-high eight assists.
On Tuesday, the Panthers picked up a 63-53 win at Plattsburgh State (6-3). The Panthers led at the break, 28-22, but the Cardinals scored the first six points of the second half to knot the game.
The game remained close until a 9-0 Panther run made it 45-35. Four points from Sinnickson and a three from Nick Tarantino sparked the surge. The Cardinals went more than five minutes without a field goal as the Panthers stretched the lead to 49-36. The Cardinals came within six with 7:42 remaining before the Panthers pulled away.
Sinnickson recorded a team-high 13 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Tarantino netted 11 points off the bench, while Merryman and Jake Brown each scored 10. Brown added a game-high seven assists. 

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