November 24, 2008

The Panther men's basketball team topped Lyndon State at home last week before going 1-1 at the Manhattanville Tournament. The Panthers picked up a 91-68 win over Lyndon State in Pepin Gym to begin the week. The game marked the first-ever meeting between the two schools, as the Panthers were victorious in their home-opener. Middlebury shot .484 from the floor on the night, including 49 second half points.

Trailing 8-4 early, Middlebury went on an 11-2 run behind a two and a three from junior Kevin Kelleher (Belle Harbor, N.Y.) to take a 15-10 lead with 12:43 left to play. The lead stayed around five for most of the half, until the Panthers closed the first session with a 12-1 run to take a 42-27 lead at the intermission.

Middlebury led by as many as 17 early in the second half, before a 9-0 run sparked by two three's from Brad Durr and one from Cesar Martinez made it a one-point game at 56-55 with 12:08 remaining.

The Panthers slowly increased their lead, going on a 9-0 run over a four-minute span to take a 74-60 advantage with 4:26 left to play. The Hornets came within 12, but Middlebury regained its lead to a game-high 23 points at the buzzer.

Senior Ben Rudin (Scarsdale, N.Y.) led all scorers with 23 points and five assists on 8 of 11 shooting from the floor, 3-3 from behind the arc. Senior Aaron Smith (W. Hartford, Conn.) had a big game with 17 points on 7 of 10 shooting, three blocks and a monster game on the boards with a career-high 20. Senior Kyle Dudley (Scarsdale, N.Y.) added 10 points in the win, sophomore Ashton Coghlan (New York, N.Y.) scored nine, while junior Tim Edwards (Greenwich, Conn.) had six assists.

Middlebury moved to 4-0 on the year with a 61-58 win over Richard Stockton at the Manhattanville Tournament. The Panthers trailed 15-6 at the 9:39 mark of the first half before going on a 9-0 run to tie the game. The game was tied three more times in the first half before the Panthers took a six-point lead into the locker room at 28-22.

Middlebury led by as many as 13 in the second half before Richard Stockton went on a 16-2 run over a 4:00 span to take a 44-43 lead with 7:42 left to play.

The Panthers went on an 8-2 spurt, behind five points from Smith, to take a 58-50 lead with 3:37 remaining. The lead grew to nine before a two and two three's from Richard Stockton cut the lead to one with 1:19 left to play.

The Ospreys had a chance to tie the game with 20 seconds left, but missed a pair of free throws. Rudin sealed the game for the Panthers four seconds later by knocking down a pair as a last second three failed for Richard Stockton.

Rudin led the team with 14 points to go along with four assists, Edwards netted nine with five boards and four assists, while rookie Ryan Sharry (Braintree, Mass.) scored eight with five rebounds.

Middlebury suffered its first loss of the season as the Panthers fell to the host school in the finals of the Manhattanville Tournament, 74-63. The Valiants shot 52% from the floor in the win, while Middlebury was just 2 of 18 from behind the arc.

Sharry led the team with 13 points, while Rudin scored a dozen with four steals. Sophomore Jamal Davis (Brooklyn, N.Y.) scored 10, while Dudley, sophomore Andrew Locke (Seattle, Wash.) and senior Matt Westman (Newton, Mass.) each added eight points in the game. The Panthers were playing without leading scorer Aaron Smith, who was out with an injury.

Rudin and Sharry were named to the All-Tournament team.
. Men's basketball record: 4-1
. Up next: 11/25 @ St. Lawrence - 4:00