Panther men’s hoop nets big victory

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Middlebury College men’s basketball team posted its biggest win of the winter so far on Friday, when the Panthers, ranked No. 2 in NCAA Division III, defeated host No. 16 Skidmore, 91-76.
The Panthers’ victory over the 6-1 Thoroughbreds was their first over a ranked team, and it allowed them to conclude first-semester play at 6-0. Middlebury will next play on Dec. 29 vs. York at the Washington & Lee tournament.
Freshman Jack Farrell led the Panthers with a career-high 22 points, and senior forward Nick Tarantino had a huge night with 20 points and 17 rebounds. Sophomore forward Matt Folger scored 18, while senior guard Jack Daly had 13 points, 11 assists and five rebounds. Daly moved into fifth place in program history with 420 career assists.
The Panthers took a 16-9 lead, but the Thoroughbreds regrouped to lead at the break, 38-34.
Skidmore still led in the second half, 42-39, when a Tarantino basket and a Farrell three sparked a decisive 13-0 run. A Folger layup capped the surge, which made it 52-42 with 14:45 to go.
Skidmore cut the deficit to 64-58 on a Noah Meren three-pointer at 8:50 left, but the Panthers answered with a 12-6 run capped by a Farrell three at 5:57, and Skidmore came no closer.
Meren paced the Thoroughbreds with 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Edvinas Rupkus scored 18. The Panthers held Skidmore to 39.3 percent shooting while hitting 46.4 percent from the floor, 58.1 in the second half. 

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