Panther men’s hoop takes two of three

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College men’s basketball team split a pair of weekend NESCAC games on the road before returning home on Tuesday to win a non-league contest.
The Panthers, at 13-2, 3-1 in NESCAC play, are ranked No. 15 in NCAA Division III. They will play at NESCAC rival Williams on Sunday afternoon.
On this past Friday, the Panthers’ eight-game winning streak ended with a 91-85 loss at No. 6 Tufts (13-2, 4-0). The Jumbos scored the last seven points of the game to secure the victory.
A game of runs by both teams saw the score tied at 84-84 with 1:11 remaining. Panther guard Jack Daly hit a free throw to give the Panthers the lead at 1:01, and Tom Palleschi gave Tufts an 86-85 advantage with a hoop at 0:46 ticks. The Panthers missed, and Jumbo Tarik Smith hit two free throws to make it 88-85 with 18 seconds left to play. The Panthers turned the ball over at the other end, and Tufts went on to the 91-85 win.
Matt St. Amour netted a game-high 23 points to pace Middlebury, while Eric McCord scored a career-high 22 points to go along with eight rebounds. Jake Brown added 11 points and seven assists, Nick Tarantino scored eight with eight boards, and Daly finished with seven points and 10 rebounds. All five Tufts starters scored in double figures, led by 16 points from Everett Dayton.
On Saturday, the Panthers dealt host Bates (12-4, 3-1) its first league loss, 79-71. Middlebury outrebounded the Bobcats, 45-31; led by 12 at halftime; and the closest Bates came in the second half was the final score.
Brown led all scorers with a career-high 24 points to go along with six assists. St. Amour finished with 14 points, and Nick Tarantino added 11 points and 13 rebounds. McCord netted 11 points and six rebounds off the bench. Jeff Spellman led the Bobcats with 13 points.
On Tuesday, the Panthers blew out visiting Green Mountain (7-6) in the second half on the way to a 104-75 victory.
Green Mountain led by as many as nine in the first half and was within one at the break, 39-38, but the Panthers outscored their visitors by 66-37 in the second half.
St. Amour led six Panthers in double figures with 24 points, including 19 in the second half, adding five rebounds and four assists. McCord chipped in 16 points and seven boards, and Adisa Majors had 11 points. Daly finished with 12 points, five rebounds and four assists. Brown dished out a season-best 12 assists, while Perry DeLorenzo and Nick Tarantino each added 10 points. Tarantino and Matt Folger tied for team-high honors with eight rebounds apiece.

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