MEN'S BASKETBALL NOW AT 14-2
January 19, 2009
The Middlebury College men's basketball team continued to roll last week, opening up NESCAC play with a pair of wins in Pepin Gym. Senior Ben Rudin (Scarsdale, N.Y.) scored a career-high 28 points to lead Middlebury to a 73-65 win over Bates in the NESCAC opener for both teams. The Panthers overcame 18-31 free throw shooting with a strong surge late in the game, forcing the contest into OT.
Middlebury led for most of the first half, until Bates went on a quick 7-0 spurt to take a 30-23 lead at the 1:02 mark behind a pair of hoops from Jimmy O'Keefe. Middlebury rookie Ryan Sharry (Braintree, Mass.) hit a pair of buckets late in the half, cutting the Bobcat's lead to 30-27 at the intermission.
Bates held a slim lead for much of the second half, with Middlebury coming on strong late. Trailing by five, Rudin sparked the team with a pair of hoops and an assist to sophomore Jamal Davis (Brooklyn, N.Y.) to give Middlebury its first lead of the half at 48-47.
Leading 54-52, O'Keefe of Bates converted 1-2 free throws to give the Panthers a chance with 30 seconds remaining. Rudin's shot missed the mark, but was rebounded by Sharry, who quickly found senior Kyle Dudley (Scarsdale, N.Y.) for the baseline three to tie the game with 22 seconds remaining. Bates was unable to get a shot off and was forced to call a timeout with 2.5 seconds left. Following the timeout, Ben Thayer's 25 footer at the buzzer missed, forcing the contest into overtime.
Middlebury hit four hoops in OT, but more importantly connected on 10 of 12 free throws to come away with the win. Rudin found sophomore Andrew Locke (Seattle, Wash.) for a 65-58 lead, before junior Tim Edwards (Greenwich, Conn.) drew a charge with 1:01 left to play. Davis sealed the win for the Panthers with a transition dunk to give the team a 70-63 advantage with just 37 seconds remaining, as Middlebury came away with the 73-65 win.
Rudin also grabbed six boards, dished out four assists and earned three steals to go along with his career-best 28 points. Locke scored 13 with six rebounds and four blocks, Sharry netted nine with nine boards, while Davis scored eight.
Chris Wilson led Bates with 18 points and six rebounds, while O'Keefe netted 17 with eight boards.
Middlebury went on a 32-6 run in the first half, breaking open a tie game early in the first half en route to an impressive 108-64 victory over Tufts at Pepin Gym on Saturday afternoon. The Panthers shot nearly 55 percent from the floor and were 17-20 from the free throw line during the game. Rudin, the day after scoring a career-high 28 points, notched a career-best 14 assists for Middlebury. The win gives the Panthers a sparkling 14-2 overall record and a 2-0 mark in NESCAC play, while Tufts falls to 7-8 overall and 0-2 in league action.
With the game tied at 12 apiece in the first half, Davis sparked the decisive run on a lay-up with just under 14:00 remaining. Sophomore Ryan Wholey (Pelham, N.H.) scored 10 points during the run, while Sharry tossed in 11 points, including the final seven, giving the Panthers a 44-18 lead with 2:35 left in the half. Tufts chipped away in the final minutes as Reed Morgan and Jon Pierce netted four apiece in an 8-2 run, to end the first half scoring, as the Jumbos trailed 46-26.
The second half saw the Middlebury lead increase to 63-33 on a three by Rudin at the 15:27 mark. The Panthers hit the century mark and expanded their lead to 100-60 on a free throw by rookie Henry Butler (Spokane, Wash.) with 5:09 left in the game.
Eight Panthers scored at least eight points, including Sherry's game-high 15, Wholey and Dudley netted 14 apiece, while Rudin chipped in 12 points to go along with his game-high 14 assists. Rudin now has 405 career assists at Middlebury, just five shy of the school record of 410 held by Mike Faucher ('96-'99).
Tufts was led by Pierce's 23 points, while Aaron Gallant added 14 and Morgan finished with 10.
. Men's basketball record: 14-2
. Up next: 1/23 @ Conn, 1/24 @ Wesleyan