Panther men’s hoop wins two in league play

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College men’s basketball team opened league play with two home wins this past weekend. The Panthers improved to 11-1 and could move up in the NCAA Division III rankings after starting last week at No. 22.
The Panthers face road challenges this weekend: They visit No. 8 Tufts (11-2, 2-0 NESCAC) on Friday night and Bates (11-3, 2-0) on Saturday afternoon. 
On this past Saturday, Matt St. Amour scored 31 points to lead five Panthers in double figures in a 97-89 victory over Connecticut College (8-4, 0-2 NESCAC).
The game was close after an opening 11-0 Panther run, and the score was tied at 61-61 midway through the second half before the Panthers began to pull away.
Two Eric McCord free throws and five straight points by Matt Folger put the Panthers in front for good at 68-61.  Middlebury took its biggest lead (75-63 at 6:47) when Jake Brown set up St. Amour on the break with a behind-the-back pass with 6:47 remaining. The Camels came no closer than eight points down the stretch.
St. Amour’s game-high 31 points included a five-for-nine performance from behind the three-point arc. He moved into seventh place on the Middlebury’s career scoring list with 1,266 points. Daly contributed 17 points, while Brown added 14 and a game-high seven assists. Adisa Majors finished with 14 points and five boards, and Folger added a career-best 10 points. Middlebury shot 56.5 percent and held the Camels to 40.8 percent, and held a 42-31 edge in rebounds.
On Friday night, the Panthers handled then No. 9 Wesleyan, 83-65. The Cardinals finished the weekend at 11-3, 0-2 NESCAC, after losing on Saturday at Hamilton. Middlebury made 14 of its 29 three-point attempts, including five of 10 by St. Amour.
St. Amour led all scorers with 21 points to go along with four assists. Daly finished with 12 points and seven rebounds, and Nick Tarantino netted nine. Brown, Bryan Jones and Folger each scored eight. McCord grabbed eight rebounds, Brown finished with six assists, and Folger blocked three shots. Middlebury held a 47-37 rebounding advantage in the game, and its bench outscored Wesleyan, 27-9.

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