Men’s hoop splits four contests
TROY, N.Y. — The Middlebury College men’s basketball team split four recent road games and stand at 2-4 heading into Thursday and Saturday games at Johnson State and Skidmore, respectively.
On Nov. 24, Middlebury picked up its first win, 80-63, at New Paltz. The Panthers never trailed in the contest and shot 47.5 percent from the floor and forced New Paltz into 13 turnovers in the first half in taking a 45-27 lead.
Middlebury shot 44.6 percent (33 for 74) from the field overall and finished with a 48-42 edge in rebounds.
Matt Daley paced Middlebury with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Jake Brown added 10 points with seven assists, Jack Daly scored nine with eight assists and four steals, and Connor Huff recorded nine points and seven rebounds. Nick Tarantino added six rebounds and four blocks off the bench. New Paltz’s R.J. Rosa led all scorers with 22 points.
On this past Saturday, Middlebury fell to Oswego State, 70-55, in the opening round of a four-team tournament hosted by the University of Rochester.
Oswego led at the break, 27-21, and the Panthers stayed within striking distance for most of the second half, trailing by 59-50 when Brown hit a three-pointer with 1:49 to go. Oswego then pulled away by sinking free throws.
Matt St. Amour led the Panthers with 23 points, while Brown chipped in with 13. Daley posted nine points and a team-high 11 rebounds, while Tarantino grabbed six rebounds in eight minutes.
Walter Sampson paced three Oswego players in double figures with 17 points, while Brian Sortino had 16, with 12 of those from the free throw line.
On Sunday, the Panthers shot 52.6 percent from the floor in a 103-63 defeat of Johnson State (0-5) in the tournament’s consolation game.
Middlebury took charge for good with a 9-3 run late in the first half sparked by a pair of Daley dunks; the surge made it 42-27, and the Panthers led at the break, 46-29.
The Panthers extended the lead to 24 with 15:23 left in the game, and then scored 21 of the game’s final 22 points.
Eight Panthers scored eight or more points, led by 17 from St. Amour and 15 from Daley. Bryan Jones netted 14 off the bench, while Huff and Zach Baines each scored 10. Tarantino grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds, while Daley and Eric McCord each had 10. Jake Brown and Daly dished out six assists apiece, and Daly also had four steals.
Middlebury outrebounded Johnson, 60-20. St. Amour was named Middlebury’s representative on the all-tournament team.
Rahim Bunch led Johnson with 15 points, and Derek Ashley scored 14.
On Tuesday, Middlebury lost, 68-66, at Rensselaer (4-1) on Tuesday night. The Panthers (2-4) had a chance to tie or win in the final seconds, but were unable to get a shot off.
RPI’s Tom Horvat hit a lay-up to push the RPI lead to 62-56, before two free throws from St. Amour made it a four-point game with 3:21 to play.
Marcus Giese hit a free throw and Horvat scored on a fast break to push the RPI advantage to seven (65-58), but St. Amour drilled a triple with 2:15 left to make it a four-point game and sank a free throw on the Panthers’ next trip down the floor to make it 65-62.
A 16-footer by the Panthers’ Brown made it 65-64 in the final minute, but two RPI free throws made it 67-64 with 21 seconds to play. Two Brown free throws made it a one-point game. RPI hit the front end of a one-and-one in the waning seconds and the Panthers rebounded the second and raced the ball up the floor and were unable to get a shot away before the buzzer sounded.
Daley recorded 15 points and 13 rebounds, while Brown netted a team and career-high 20 points to go along with five assists and four steals. St. Amour finished with 13 points and seven boards, while Baines scored eight off the bench. The Panthers struggled from the line, making just 10 of 20 attempts, and from behind the arc, sinking just two of 11 from three-point range.
Horvat led all scorers with 29 points to go along with five boards. The win stopped the Engineers’ nine-game losing streak against the Panthers.