February 7, 2011

Four players reached double figures as Middlebury survived a second-half rally from Bowdoin in a 74-59 win on Saturday afternoon at Morrell Gymnasium. The eighth-ranked Panthers clinch a NESCAC Quarterfinal home game with the victory and improve to 18-1 overall (6-1 NESCAC). The Polar Bears fall to 13-7 (2-5 NESCAC) with the setback.

            Sophomore Jake Wolfin (Woodcliff Lake, N.J.) led Middlebury with 14 points to go with four assists and three steals. Sophomore Nolan Thompson (Akron, Ohio) and senior Andrew Locke (Seattle, Wash.) scored 13 apiece for the Panthers while senior Jamal Davis (Brooklyn, N.Y.) added 10 off the bench. Bowdoin’s Will Hanley led all players with 20 points and 15 rebounds as Ryan O’Connell (14) and Justin Nowell (12) also scored in double digits.

            The Panthers opened up a 12-point lead at intermission thanks to 10 first-half points from Wolfin, including a pair of three-pointers that keyed a late 11-3 surge to give Middlebury the lead at halftime. The Polar Bears came out firing in the first four minutes of the second half, as Ryan O’Connell sparked a 14-2 run out of the break with a pair of three-pointers to tie the game at 37 apiece.

            A trio of lay-ins by Thompson ignited an 8-0 run for the Panthers that pushed the lead to 51-43 with 11 minutes to go. Bowdoin was able to trim the Middlebury lead to four points, 52-48, on a Hanley lay-up with 9:40 to go, but the Panthers answered with a 9-2 run, capped by a Locke dunk and floater in the lane by rookie Joey Kizel (Short Hills, N.J.) that pushed the lead back to 11 points with under four minutes to play.

            Middlebury held a 43-34 edge in rebounds, thanks to 12 caroms from junior Ryan Sharry (Braintree, Mass.). The Panthers bench outscored Bowdoin’s 19-4 in the victory. 

            Middlebury used a big size advantage to block 10 shots and hold Colby College to 26 percent shooting in the game as the Panthers took a 73-52 road win in NESCAC play Friday night at Wadsworth Gymnasium.

            The game was tied 2-2 when Middlebury went on a 16-0 run for an 18-2 margin. Sharry scored seven points during the run that ended at the 11:17 mark. The Panthers extended the lead to 30-8 before settling for a 42-17 halftime margin. Colby got as close as 17 points in the second half at 45-28 before the Panthers once again pulled away.

            Senior Ryan Wholey (Pelham, N.H.) had a team-high 15 points for Middlebury. Sharry had a double-double with 12 points, 12 rebounds, and added three assists, two blocks, and two steals in just 19 minutes. Locke finished with 10 points and a game-high four blocked shots.
• Men’s basketball record: 18-1
• Up next: 2/11 vs. Amherst – 6:00, 2/12 vs. Trinity – 2:00