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Panther men’s hoop suffers first setbacks

CASTLETON — The Middlebury College men’s basketball team won once in three recent games, winning at Castleton on Tuesday after suffering its first two losses over the weekend in NESCAC road contests.
The 10-2 Panthers host Wesleyan at 7 p.m. on Friday and Connecticut at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
On this past Tuesday, Connor Huff scored a career-high 20 points and 11 Panthers scored in a 94-56 victory at Castleton (4-7). 
Castleton trailed by just 46-38 at halftime, but sank just three of 28 shots in the second period and was outrebounded, 59-37 overall. Middlebury, which ranks 12th in NCAA Division III in assists per game, recorded helpers on 26 of their 32 field goals.
Chad Copeland scored 17 points for CSC and pulled down eight rebounds, while Rob Coloutti added 11 points and five boards. 
Huff’s 20 points led three players in double figures for the Panthers. Dylan Sinnickson added 17 points and nine rebounds, while Matt St. Amour recorded 10 points and five assists and Jake Brown tied a career-high with nine assists and added seven rebounds.
On Sunday, host Tufts pulled away from a 47-47 tie with 13:50 to go to earn an 80-63 victory over Middlebury.  Middlebury had overcome a 38-26 halftime deficit to tie the score, but the Jumbos led by as many as 19 down the stretch.
Tufts shot 61.5 percent from the floor in the second half and made 31 of their 58 shots overall for a 53.4 percentage.
Sinnickson recorded a game-high 25 points, hitting 10 of 16 shots. Huff’s 10 points, including a three-pointer that tied the game at 47-47, and six rebounds helped Middlebury, which shot 40.7 percent for the game. Sinnickson led with seven boards, while Brown and Hunter Merryman both finished with seven points and three assists.
On Friday, host Bates (10-2, 1-0 NESCAC) edged the Panthers, 57-53. Middlebury had several players who were ill before this game. Bates shot only 34.5 percent from the field, but held the Panthers to 31.3 percent from the floor. Bates had a big advantage in free throws, making 16 of 22 while Middlebury made only five of 12.
Sinnickson had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Middlebury. Brown added nine points and three assists, while Nick Tarantino added seven points.
Middlebury led 23-17 with 4:16 to go in the first half on a layup by Tarantino, but Bates finished the period with a 7-0 run to assume a 24-23 lead at the break.
A Sinnickson three-pointer gave the Panthers a 33-32 lead, their last of the game — Bates responded with a 10-0 run and took a 42-33 lead with 9:43 to go.
Later, an 8-0 Panther run cut the lead to 48-46 with 5:20 to go. Brown and St. Amour made layups, and St. Amour fed Merryman for a jumper on an inbounds pass and fed Sinnickson for another layup in the surge.
Bates answered with a 5-1 run over the next couple of minutes. A bucket by Sinnickson made it 53-49, and St. Amour went coast-to-coast at 0:23 to make it a two-point game before Bates sealed the win from the line. 

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