Men’s hoop edged in key league game
CLINTON, N.Y. — The Middlebury College men’s team split a pair of recent games, losing a tough league game on the road on Saturday before winning a non-league contest on Tuesday. The Panthers are 12-8, 4-2 in league play, and will host NESCAC foes Colby and Bowdoin this weekend.
On Saturday, host Hamilton held the Panthers to 23 points in the second half and scored at the buzzer to defeat the Panthers, 64-62. Hamilton (10-9, 1-5 NESCAC) won its first league game and dealt the Panthers a setback that cost them a share of first place.
Middlebury led by as many as 11 in the first half before settling for a 39-32 lead at the break. The Panthers then opened the second half with a 10-2 run and to lead by 49-34 with 16:33 left. Matt Daley scored five of the Panthers’ 10 points during the run.
The Continentals responded with an 18-5 spurt to make it 54-52 with 11:06 remaining. Middlebury’s lead moved between two and four points for the next six-plus minutes, until Joe Pucci tied it at 62-62 on a jumper with 4:28 to go.
The teams were stuck on that score until Andrew Groll’s last-second basket in the paint. During the four-plus minute scoreless stretch near the end, the Panthers the Continentals each missed five shots and turned the ball over twice.
Matt St. Amour paced Middlebury with 14 points. Daley added 12 points and Adisa Majors contributed eight points, nine rebounds and three steals. Jack Daly handed out six assists, and Jake Brown was credited with five. Groll recorded game-highs of 18 points and 14 rebounds.
On Tuesday, the Panthers pulled away from a 31-31 halftime tie at Keene State to defeat the Owls, 83-74. St. Amour poured in 32 points to lead the attack. Middlebury opened the second half with a 14-2 run to take charge, and closed the game by hitting 10 of 12 free throws in the final 1:08 to wrap up the win. Keene is also 12-8.
Daley chipped in with 13 points and eight rebounds, while Brown had eight points and a game-high six assists. Daly added seven points and six boards, and Majors pulled in eight rebounds.