January 16, 2012


            The Middlebury College men’s basketball team remained undefeated with a 72-56 road win at Connecticut College.

            Junior guard Jake Wolfin (Woodcliff Lake, N.J.) poured in a game-high 21 points, all coming from beyond the arc (7-8). Senior Ryan Sharry (Braintree, Mass.) chipped in with 18 points and 11 boards in a 7-10 shooting performance. Sophomore Joey Kizel (Short Hills, N.J.) added 11 points and six assists, while sophomore James Jensen (North White Plains, N.Y.) chipped in with eight.

Matt Vadas dumped in 15 points to lead the Camels. Mason Lopez chipped in with 14 points and Boris Jeremic reached double digits with 10 for Connecticut College (5-9, 0-3).

The Camels did a nice job, mixing defensive looks and after trailing by as many as 13 points, cut the deficit to 59-56 when Bryan Gross netted a three-ball from the right side with 7:09 to go.

The Panthers promptly pushed the lead back to six, but Jeremic answered with another Camel triple to make it a 59-56 contest with 4:59 remaining.

However, Wolfin continued to carry the hot hand for the Panthers and the junior sharp-shooter buried three more treys in the closing moments to help the visitors close out the 72-56 triumph. 

Undefeated and top-ranked Middlebury built a 60-51 lead with 3:52 to play and withstood a late Wesleyan rally earning a 65-62 decision in Connecticut on Saturday. The win pushed the Panthers' record to 14-0 overall, 4-0 in NESCAC play, as Wesleyan fell to 12-4 on the season, 2-2 in league action.

            Holding a tenuous 48-47 advantage with 12:39 on the clock, Middlebury got a three–pointer from junior Nolan Thompson (Akron, Ohio), followed by a bucket from first-year player Dylan Sinnickson (Sands Point, N.Y.) to extend its lead to 53-47 with 9:27 left.  When Kizel canned a trey at the 6:25 mark, Middlebury led 56-49.

After a Jensen free throw made it 60-51 for the visitors at 3:52, Wesleyan scored on six consecutive possessions with Derick Beresford accounting for six points. When Cardinal Mike Callaghan scored on a layup off the sixth assist of the contest by Shasha Brown with 16 seconds left  to play, Wesleyan trimmed the margin to a lone point, 63-62.  Kizel was fouled with 8.1 to go and calmly sank a pair at the line to bump the margin back to three, 65-62.

Looking for a three-pointer to tie, Wesleyan never got the chance as the Panthers took a smart foul with :03.4 to go. Brown missed the first attempt, then purposely missed the second, but Sharry grabbed his game-high 11th rebound and tossed the ball the length of the floor to kill the remaining seconds.

Neither team led by more than four points during a nip-and-tuck first half which ended in Wesleyan's favor, 34-33.  The Cardinals pulled out to their largest lead of the game early in the second half, 42-38, before Middlebury took the lead for good on a three-pointer by Kizel to break a 43-43 deadlock at the 15:40 mark, putting the Panthers ahead, 46-43.

Kizel led his squad with 16 points while Sharry added 14 and Jensen chipped in with 13, as Wolfin paced the Panthers with five assists. Callaghan led all scorers with 18 and had a team-high five rebounds, as Brown and Beresford each had a dozen points for the Cardinals.

Both teams shot well from the field as Middlebury connected on 55 percent of their shots, while Wesleyan hit 51 percent.  The Cardinals faltered at the line, making 5-of-13 while Middlebury was good for 14-of-20 from the charity stripe.
• Men’s Basketball record: 14-0
• Up next: 1/17 vs. Castleton – 7:30, 1/20 @ Hamilton – 8:00