Men’s hoop earns No. 2 ranking
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College men’s basketball team on Tuesday led throughout and pulled away in the second half to defeat visiting Plattsburgh, 92-68.
The Panthers improved to 5-0 and have risen to No. 2 in the early-season NCAA Division III rankings, a status due in part to their Elite Eight NCAA tournament appearance and NESCAC playoff championship last winter.
The Panthers will close out their first semester with a road test on Friday at 6 p.m., when they visit undefeated No. 16 Skidmore. Plattsburgh dropped to 3-3.
On Tuesday the Panthers held the Cardinals to 33.3 percent shooting from the floor, and no Cardinal starter reached double figures; reserve Eli Bryant paced the Cardinals with 12 points.
Meanwhile four Panther starters scored at least 12 points. Matt Folger and Jack Daly each netted 14. Folger added 10 rebounds and four blocks, while Daly grabbed nine boards and dished out nine assists. With his nine assists, Daly moved into fifth place all-time at Middlebury with 418.
Hilal Dahleh chipped in 13 points on five-for-seven shooting, freshmen Jack Farrell went five-for-six from the floor for a career-best 12 points, and freshman Griffin Kornaker came off the bench to hit four of five shots for a career-high 11 points.
Middlebury led by as many as 14 (27-13) in the first half before settling for a 38-30 lead at the break. The Cardinals then scored the first four points of the second half, but the Panthers responded with a decisive 21-3 run during which Folger netted nine points and Daly added six. The lead dipped below 20 points just once the rest of the way.
Middlebury held advantages of 52-44 in rebounds and 23-9 in assists, and forced 23 Cardinal turnovers.
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