Panther men’s basketball drops two of three games

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College men’s basketball team won once in three recent tries, prevailing on Tuesday in a non-league home game after dropping two NESCAC road games this past weekend.
The Panthers are 16-6 overall, but just 3-5 in league play. They are tied for the eighth and final league playoff spot with home games this weekend on tap vs. first-place Trinity on Friday at 7 p.m. and third-place Amherst on Sunday at 2 p.m.
On this past Sunday, the Panthers dropped their second-straight NESCAC road game, falling at Bowdoin, 88-70. The Polar Bears improved to 15-6 for the season and 5-3 in conference play.
Matt St. Amour led Middlebury with a game-high 23 points, while Dylan Sinnickson pitched in with 13 points and nine rebounds. Matt Daley added 10 points off the bench.
Lucas Hausman paced the Bowdoin offense with 21 points, followed by John Swords with 20.
Bowdoin jumped ahead, 12-3, and led at the half, 45-35. Daley opened the second half with back-to-back jumpers to cut the lead to 45-39, but the lead remained in single digits until a Swords hoop made it 59-49 with 14 minutes remaining. Bowdoin then steadily pulled away from there.
On Friday, four Panthers reached double figures, led by St. Amour with 18, but host Colby prevailed, 84-80. The White Mules improved to 13-9, 4-4 in NESCAC. Colby’s Ryan Jann scored a game-high 26 points.
Jake Brown added 13 points, seven assists, and four steals, while Hunter Merryman, Sinnickson and Daley each added 11 for the Panthers. Daley also grabbed a team-best nine boards.
Jann scored 19 and had three assists in the opening half as the Mules headed into the halftime break up by eight (48-40).
Middlebury never led in the second half, but tied the game at 79-79 with 56 seconds to play on an old-fashioned three-point play from Dean Brierley. Two free throws put the Mules ahead by a pair (81-79) with 44.6 seconds remaining.
St. Amour made one free throw at 0:29.6 seconds, forcing Middlebury to foul. The Mules then hit three of four free throws sandwiched around a missed Panther layup to create the final score.
Colby shot 40 percent (10-for-25) from three-point range, while the Panthers shot 20 percent (three-for-15) for the contest.
On Tuesday, the Panthers outlasted visiting Lyndon State, 88-74, as Sinnickson matched a career-high with 27 points. Lyndon dropped to 8-13.
The Hornets finished a back-and-forth first half with a 43-39 lead. St. Amour scored the first six points of the second half to put Middlebury on top, and the Panthers stretched the advantage to 57-50. But Lyndon came back to tie the score at 63-63 at 7:24 before the Panthers finished the game on a 25-11 run to nail down the victory.
Sinnickson added 11 rebounds, while St. Amour scored 19 points while hitting three of four from behind the arc. Daley nabbed 11 rebounds while scoring 11 points, and Brown chipped in eight points and dished out eight assists. Lyndon’s David Johnson scored 21. Middlebury outrebounded Lyndon, 50-29, and made 29 of 36 free throw attempts, compared to 11 of 12 for the Hornets.

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