Men’s hoop falls in NESCAC quarterfinal
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. — Fourth-seed Wesleyan eliminated the No. 5 Middlebury men’s basketball team from the NESCAC tournament on Saturday, 73-65.
The Panthers, who had been ranked as high as No. 2 in NCAA Division III this winter, lost for the third straight time and fell to 19-6. They must now hope for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament when the field is announced on Monday.
Wesleyan improved to 20-5 and advanced to the NESCAC final four at Amherst this weekend and will face the host Mammoths. No. 2 Williams will square off against No. 3 Hamilton. Those four teams and Middlebury finished with identical league marks of 7-3, but Middlebury earned the No. 5 seed on a tiebreaker.
On this past Saturday the Panthers led at the half, 32-28, and twice took six-point second-half leads in a back-and-forth game. But the Cardinals came back to tie the game at 50-50. Middlebury took its final lead at 52-50, but the Cardinals took the lead for good with a 12-5 run.
The Panthers kept it close and were within 64-59 when Griffin Kornaker scored a basket at 2:08, but the Cardinals hit nine of 12 from the foul line down the stretch to nail down the victory.
Panther Jack Daly finished with 20 points to lead all scorers and added six assists, while Folger netted 17 and added six boards and four steals. Kornaker chipped in nine points, and Adisa Majors scored seven with six rebounds.
Jordan Bonner paced Wesleyan with 18 points, Kevin O’Brien added 17 with nine rebounds and seven assists, and Antone Walker netted 11.
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