Men’s hoop wins twice, moves into first

WATERVILLE, Maine — The Middlebury College men’s basketball team continued its surge through the NESCAC standings and its strong defensive play this past weekend, when the Panthers (17-5, 6-2 NESCAC) swept Colby and Bowdoin in Maine to move into a tie with Williams for first place in the league.
The Panthers will entertain Hamilton at 7 p.m. on Friday and Amherst at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Entering a midweek makeup game, Hamilton was 19-2, 5-2 NESCAC, and Amherst was 17-2, 5-2 NESCAC, and the teams were tied for third place.
If the Panthers win both games this weekend they would clinch the top seed for the NESCAC playoffs because they own the head-to-head tiebreaker with Williams.
In their past four league games they have allowed an average of 55.75 points, close to 30 points lower than their previous per-game points-allowed average in NESCAC play.
On this past Saturday the Panthers topped host Colby, 81-68. The Mules fell to 15-7, 3-5 in league play. Middlebury held Colby to 30 points in the second half after trailing at the break, 40-38, and went on a decisive 15-0 run after leading, 56-55, with 10:39 to go.
Jack Farrell led the Panthers with 21 points, and Eric McCord chipped in 19 points and eight rebounds. Matt Folger added with 11 points and 15 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season, and blocked three shots. Max Bosco scored 14 points to go along with four assists. Sam Jefferson paced Colby with 16 points.
On Friday the Panthers held host Bowdoin to 19 first-half points in a 63-51 victory over the Polar Bears (13-8, 3-5). Bowdoin went on to upset Williams on Saturday.
Middlebury never trailed, took a 37-19 halftime lead, and maintained a double-digit advantage throughout the second half. 
Folger scored 15 points to lead Middlebury, while McCord recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Farrell and Bosco chipped in 14 and 13 points, respectively, while Griffin Kornaker had nine points and five rebounds off the bench. Jack Simonds led Bowdoin with 13 points.

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