November 26, 2012

The Middlebury College men’s basketball team scored 69 second-half points on its way to a 117-81 win at Green Mountain. Middlebury jumped out to an early lead in the game off of five straight points from senior Peter Lynch (Westford, Mass.). That quick run caused the Eagles to call an early timeout to regroup themselves. GMC was able to gather itself and slowly inch its way back into the game and at one point took a brief lead at 33-32. 

Middlebury put together another streak towards the end of the first stanza and took a 48-41 lead into the break.

The second half was all Middlebury as the Panthers outscored the Eagles 69-40.  Lynch and junior Albert Nascimento (Governador Valadares, Brazil) were a major part of the second half breakout for the Panthers as they had 13 and 14 points, respectively.

In total, Lynch led the visitors with a career-high 27 points, while the trio of Nascimento, sophomore Hunter Merryman (San Marino, Calif.) and senior Jake Wolfin (Woodcliff Lake, N.J.) each chipped in with 14 points apiece. The 14 points were a career-best for Nascimento and Merryman. 

Middlebury made it four straight wins to open the season as the fourth-ranked Panthers picked up an 80-73 road win at 2-1 Plattsburgh. Middlebury nailed 27-47 shots (57.4 percent) and used a 56-44 scoring advantage in the second half to hand Plattsburgh its first loss of the season via an 80-73 tally.

Down 14-12 at the 12:17 mark of the frame, John Perez threw down a  jam off of an inbounds play. Chris Manning found Perez skying to the basket, picking up one of his team-high six assists in the process.

Tied at 19-all, the Cardinals went on a 5-0 run to take a lead they wouldn’t give up in the first half. Reggie Williams scored a jumper in the painted area before Kalik Parker hit from distance off a nice feed from Mike Mitchell.

Mitchell canned a three-point jumper of his own before Billy O’Shea hustled down an offensive rebound and gave the Cardinals their largest lead of the first half with a layup at the 1:36 mark of the frame to make it 29-22. After a fast break score from junior Joey Kizel (Short Hills, N.J.), the Cardinals walked to the locker room with a 29-24 advantage as the halftime horn sounded.

Looking to build on an impressive first half of basketball, Gary Tibbs got the Cardinals going with a short jumper before giving the Cardinals their largest lead of the game with yet another mid-range jump shot to make it 35-26 with 16:57 to go in the game.

After trading baskets, the Panthers went on an 11-0 run to take a 39-38 lead after a Merryman downtown basket at the 13:43 mark of the stanza.

After Shamoy McIntosh connected from long distance to tie things at 58, Middlebury grabbed control of the game for good after a junior James Jensen (North White Plains, N.Y.) jumper and never gave it up. McIntosh and Ezra Hodgson tried to get the Cardinals back into the thick of things from beyond the arc, but the Panthers seemed to have the answer for each Plattsburgh basket.

The Panthers maintained the lead through the remainder of the game, getting as much as a seven-point advantage before things were said and done. Another Manning theft lead to an easy layup before Tibbs struck again to cut it to a 74-71 game with 38 ticks remaining but senior Nolan Thompson (Akron, Ohio) hit a runner in the paint to put the kibosh on any type of comeback attempt by the Cardinals.

Thompson led all scorers with 23 points and ripped down a game-high seven rebounds for the Panthers. Lynch added 19 on 6-8 shooting, while Kizel had 13 and Wolfin dished out seven assists.

• Men’s basketball record: 4-0

• Up next: 11/27 vs. S. Vermont – 7:00, 12/2 @ Johnson @ Wales