December 3, 2012

The Middlebury College men’s basketball team connected on 11 of 17 (.647) from three-point range on its way to a 96-60 win over Southern Vermont (0-4) in their home-opener in Pepin Gym. The fourth-ranked Panthers (5-0) saw senior Peter Lynch (Westford, Mass.) and junior Jack Roberts (Moylan, Pa.) combine to score 39 points on 18-21 shooting from the floor in the win.

Middlebury jumped out to a 17-6 lead in the first 7:02, behind a bucket and a three-point play from Lynch. The run extended into a 28-8 lead with 9:25 remaining, with the Panthers eventually taking a 31-11 lead on a hoop from Roberts with 8:04 left in the first half. Southern Vermont responded with an 11-2 run behind six from Jermaine Campbell and five from Taeshon Johnson to make it a 35-32 game at the 5:49 mark. Middlebury closed the half with 19 of the final 24 points to take a 54-27 lead into the intermission. Lynch paced Middlebury with 17 points on 7-9 shooting in the first half.

An early second half bucket pushed the lead over 30 where it stayed there for the remainder of the contest. Lynch finished with 21 points to lead the Panthers to go along with four assists, while Roberts scored 18 on 9-10 shooting with four blocked shots. Sophomore Hunter Merryman (San Marino, Calif.) added 11 points in the win, with eight from junior Joey Kizel (Short Hills, N.J.). Johnson scored a game-high 24 points for the Mountaineers, followed by 15 from Campbell.

Middlebury improved to 6-0 on the season with a 79-71 road win at Johnson & Wales (2-4) on Sunday afternoon.

Johnson & Wales' rookie Quarry Greenway paced the team with 17 points and five assists while Frank Robinson added 14 points and two rebounds for the Wildcats. Esaie Touze chipped in with 11 points and five boards while Jordan Jones was also in double figures with 12 points in the setback.

Middlebury was led by Kizel with 20 points, eight assists and five steals, while Lynch recorded a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Merryman notched 15 points in the win for the Panthers.

Middlebury jumped out to the early 8-1 lead after a pair of free throws by Kizel. The visiting Panthers led 33-23 on a three pointer by Kizel with 5:07 on the clock. Johnson & Wales responded, however and closed out the half on a 17-6 run, taking the 40-39 lead into the locker room at halftime after a layup by Robinson with :04 left on the clock.  JWU shot an impressive 56.0% from the field for the stanza.

In the second half, JWU built on their lead and held a 51-45 advantage on a layup by Touze with 15:40 remaining. Middlebury then used a 10-4 run to tie the game at 55-55 with 11:20 remaining. With the score tied 63-63 with just over seven minutes remaining, Middlebury went on a 13-2 run, capped by a layup by Lynch to take a 76-65 lead. The Panthers then held on for the 79-71 victory.

• Men’s basketball record: 6-0

• Up next: 12/6 vs. Johnson – 7:00 – 12/8 vs. Skidmore – 4:00