Panther men’s basketball wins two games

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College men’s basketball team cruised to two recent home wins to improve to 16-3. The Panthers are ranked No. 16 in this week’s NCAA Division III poll and their 4-2 league mark is good for a three-way tie for second place behind Tufts (6-1). Amherst and Trinity also have 4-2 NESCAC records. The Panthers play at Colby and Bowdoin this weekend before hosting Amherst and Trinity and Feb. 10 and 11, respectively.
On this past Saturday, the Panthers bounced back from a league loss the previous Sunday to crunch visiting Hamilton, 115-82.
Middlebury had six players score in double figures, shot a blistering 62 percent, and never trailed against the Continentals (13-5, 3-3 NESCAC) after taking leads of 11-0, 28-12 and 55-35 at halftime.
Bryan Jones finished with a career-high 25 points for Middlebury, including hitting five of seven from three-point range. Matt St. Amour netted 23 points and hit five treys to become the second Middlebury player to reach 200 career three-pointers. Jack Daly scored 13 points, while Eric McCord, Jake Brown and Adisa Majors each finished with 10 points.
Brown dished out nine assists, and Nick Tarantino grabbed eight rebounds as Middlebury earned a 47-27 edge on the boards. Freshman Kena Gilmour lead Hamilton with 19 points.
On Tuesday, Jack Daly scored a career-high 23 points in the Panthers’ non-league 89-77 victory over Keene State. The Panthers went on a 14-2 first-half run and led by 44-27 at the break as Middlebury avenged a loss to Keene in the second round of last year’s NCAA tournament.
Keene (14-6) scored 10 straight to open the second half and pulled to within seven in the late going before the Panthers clinched the win by hitting 10 of 12 free throws down the stretch.
Daly added 10 rebounds and seven assists to his game-high point total. St. Amour scored 20 with six rebounds and a game-best four steals. Brown chipped in with 14 points and seven assists, in the process becoming the second Panther to eclipse the 500-career assist total with an even 500. McCord chipped in 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Tarantino added eight points and six rebounds. The Panthers held a 51-34 rebounding edge and dished out 19 assists.
Ty Nichols led Keene State with 22 points and a team-high 10 rebounds.

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