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Panther men’s hoop win twice, now No. 6 in NCAA D-III

HARTFORD, Conn. — The Middlebury College men’s basketball team won two recent games, including a NESCAC road win on Sunday that preserved their position on top of the league standings.
The Panthers ran their winning streak to eight and improved to 16-3, 5-1, heading into weekend NESCAC games vs. Bowdoin at 7 p.m. on Friday and Colby at 3 p.m. on Saturday. They are ranked No. 6 in NCAA Division III.
On this past Sunday the Panthers outlasted host Trinity (13-6, 2-4 NESCAC), 87-81, in a foul-plagued affair. Middlebury shot 41 of 51 from the line and set a program single-game record for made free throws.
The Panthers took the lead for good with a 12-0 first-half run that erased a 31-22 Bantam advantage. Hoops inside from Jack Daly and Eric McCord capped the surge, which helped Middlebury take a 43-37 lead at the half.
Despite falling behind by as many as 10, the Bantams eventually cut the lead to 63-61 on a Nick Seretta three-point play at 10:15. Middlebury answered with a 7-0 run capped by a Hilal Dahleh layup.
Trinity again cut into the lead, and Kyle Padmore made it 74-71 with a layup with 2:51 left. Panther Jack Farrell answered by nailing a key three-pointer from the right wing on Middlebury’s next possession, and the Panthers converted eight of 10 free throws in the final minute to seal the win.
Daly paced the Panthers by tying his career high with 26 points, including 18 free throws, to go along with 10 rebounds and eight assists. McCord finished with 18 points and eight rebounds off the bench in 26 minutes, while Farrell added 16 points and Dahleh had 10. Seretta scored 30 for the Bantams.
On Tuesday the Panthers outlasted host Keene State, 84-78. The Owls dropped to 14-6.
Middlebury took a 27-15 lead in the first half with a 10-0 run highlighted by two Griffin Kornaker threes, and the Panthers still led at the break, 44-38.
The Owls tied the game at 61-61 at 10:26 of the second, and the game was still knotted at 66-66, when Middlebury took the lead with a 6-0 run capped by two Daly free throws at 6:24.
Keene moved to within two points four times, including at 80-78 on a James Anozie free throw at 1:18. Two free throws each from McCord and Daly over the final minute sealed the win.
Matt Folger paced the Panthers with 22 points, adding five assists and three blocked shots. Daly finished with 19 points, nine assists and four steals, while McCord and Adisa Majors each chipped in with 10 points. Nick Tarantino added eight points and 13 rebounds as the Panthers led on the boards, 41-28. Middlebury also led in bench points, 28-1. Owl Ty Nichols scored 31 points and recorded eight assists, seven steals and six rebounds. Anozie added 17 points and eight boards.

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