Panther men’s hoop takes two of three

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College men’s basketball team followed a split of two weekend NESCAC games with a non-league victory on Tuesday. The Panthers are 15-4, 3-3 NESCAC, heading into road games vs. league foes Colby and Bowdoin this weekend.
On Tuesday, Dylan Sinnickson and Hunter Merryman scored 27 points apiece in Middlebury’s 96-83 win over visiting Keene State (15-5) in Pepin Gym.
Keene took early leads of as many as seven points, but the Panthers used an 18-2 run late in the first half to lead at the break, 41-33. Five Panthers scored during that surge.
The Middlebury lead hovered around seven points for much of the second half. Two free throws from Keene’s Tom Doyle made it 74-68 with 6:13 remaining, but a three from Merryman started a decisive 9-4 spurt that Jake Brown capped with a layup at 3:12 to make it 85-72. 
Middlebury shot 51 percent from the floor and earned a 50-39 advantage on the boards, while the Owls scored 23 points on 19 Panther turnovers.
Sinnickson added 10 rebounds for this 12th double-double of the season, while Merryman went eight for 12 from the floor en route to a career high. Brown finished with 11 points and six assists, while Nick Tarantino grabbed a career-best 13 boards. Doyle led Keene with 25 points to reach 1,000 for his career. 
On Sunday, Middlebury outlasted visiting Hamilton in overtime, 82-77. The Panthers led by 10 midway through the second half and by four in the final minute of regulation before the Continentals sandwiched two threes, including a game-tying shot at the buzzer by Joseph Lin, around two Matt St. Amour free throws.
In overtime, a pair of Matt Daley layups and a Merryman jumper helped Middlebury to a 71-67 lead. The Panthers then knocked down 11 of 12 free throws down the stretch, including six from St. Amour, to ice the win.
Sinnickson notched 23 points and a career-best 21 boards. Merryman tied Sinnickson for team-high honors with 23 points and pulled down six rebounds, while Daley added a season-high 18 points and career-best 16 rebounds. St. Amour contributed eight points, nine rebounds and a team-best seven assists. Middlebury outrebounded Hamilton, 59-26, including 26 offensive boards.
On Friday, a hot-shooting Williams team topped the Panthers, 87-62. The Ephs (12-7, 3-3 NESCAC) shot 52.7 percent from the floor and led 46-33 at the half. The closest Middlebury came after the break was 51-40.
Bryan Jones led the Panthers with a career-best 13 points, while Daley scored 11 with eight boards and St. Amour added 10. Brown chipped in with nine points, four assists and three steal

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