Men’s basketball romps in NCAA regional

WINDHAM, Conn. — The Middlebury men’s basketball team dominated its NCAA Division III Regional this past weekend at Eastern Connecticut State and will play at a Sectional this weekend hosted by Ramapo College in Mahwah, N.J.
The Panthers (21-6) will play MIT (24-5) in a semifinal on Friday at 5:30 p.m., while the other matchup pits Ramapo (23-6) against Franklin & Marshall (22-6) at 7:30 p.m. The winners will meet on Saturday at 7 p.m. with a trip to the NCAA final four on the line.
In this past Saturday’s Regional final the 18th-ranked Panthers used balanced scoring and a big edge on the boards to defeat No. 10 Eastern Connecticut, 83-58.
The Panthers took control with a 12-2 first-half run that gave them a 24-7 lead. The Warriors came as close as 10 at one point in the rest of the half at 25-15, but the Panthers answered with an Eric McCord layup and a Hilal Dahleh three to push the lead back to 15. A Jack Farrell three just before the break set the halftime score at 46-28. The closest the Warriors came in the second half was 17 points.
Farrell led four Panthers in double figures with 19 points to go along with six rebounds and four assists. Dahleh contributed 16 points, while McCord recorded 12 points and 10 boards in 20 minutes off the bench. Jack Daly finishing with 11 points to go along with game highs of 12 rebounds and seven assists, and Nick Tarantino chipped in six points and eight rebounds.
Cory Mackle led Eastern Connecticut, the Little East champion at 26-4, with 13 points.
Middlebury shot 52.5 percent from the floor, while the Warriors made 30.3 percent of their attempts. The Panthers held advantages of 54-26 on the glass and 46-28 in points in the paint. 
On Friday Daly notched his second triple-double of the season in the Panthers’ 83-63 victory over Lebanon Valley (18-10). 
Middlebury scored the game’s first 10 points, but after a back-and-forth opening half led by just 40-36 at the break after scoring the half’s final five points, a three from Joey Leighton and a late Daly layup.
In the second half, the Panther lead hovered between two and six over the first seven minutes before a Matt Folger tip-in gave Middlebury a 52-46 edge with 13:05 left. The Panthers then rattled off a decisive 16-3 run over the next 7:23, highlighted by nine points from Folger, for a 68-49 lead with 6:42 to go. Middlebury led by as many as 23 before settling for the 20-point win.
Daly finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists to go along with three steals. Folger led the Panthers with 14 points to go along with six rebounds and two blocked shots, while McCord added 12 points by hitting six of seven shots off the bench. Adisa Majors and Leighton each chipped in with eight points, while Majors yanked down six boards.
Andy Orr recorded 10 points and 10 rebounds to lead Lebanon Valley, of Annville, Pa.
The Panthers held advantages in rebounding (49-29), points in the paint (42-18), bench points (38-22), and transition points (18-2).

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