December 6, 2010

            The Panther men’s basketball team finished off the first semester with a perfect 6-0 record as the sixth-ranked Panthers picked up a 64-52 road win at Union. Middlebury shot 50% from the floor in the game, including .593 in the second half. The Panthers held the Dutchmen to .259 from the floor, while controlling the boards 45-31.

            Middlebury trailed by as many as nine in the first half, before going on an 11-3 run to take a 24-23 lead at 1:12 on a transition dunk from senior Jamal Davis (Brooklyn, N.Y.). Middlebury shot a red-hot .593 from the floor in the first half, but trailed 26-25 at the intermission.

            The Panthers led by a bucket five minutes into the second half, before going on a 15-3 run over the next 5:31 to take a 48-34 lead on a dunk from senior Andrew Locke (Seattle, Wash.) with 8:38 remaining. Union came within six with 3:48 remaining, but that’s as close as they’d get, as Middlebury came away with the 64-52 victory.

            Locke led all scorers with 17 (8 of 12) and tied his own school record with seven blocked shots in the game. Rookie Joey Kizel (Short Hills, N.J.) added eight points and six assists, while Davis and senior Ryan Wholey (Pelham, N.H.) each scored eight. Junior Ryan Sharry (Braintree, Mass.) netted six points with a game-high eight rebounds.

            Sharry scored a game-high 21 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, blocked six shots and went 9-12 from the floor to lead Middlebury to a 66-44 win at Castleton State.

            Wholey added 19 points, six rebounds and four steals, while Kizel chipped in eight points and six boards off the bench.

            Sharry gave Middlebury a 2-0 lead on his first touch of the game, and Middlebury never trailed, building a 21-point halftime lead and cruising to the 20-point win. The six-foot-eight-inch Sharry finished with a dozen points and six offensive rebounds in the first half, as Middlebury controlled the offensive glass en route to 16 second-chance points. The Panthers also forced 12 Spartan turnovers in the first half, leading to 13 points.

            Middlebury used its decisive size advantage to control the interior throughout the contest, out-rebounding the Spartans 44-18 overall, including 17 offensive rebounds to just three for Castleton.

            Sharry also finished with six blocks, and was a constant presence, altering many others and helping limit Castleton to just 38.6 percent (17-44) shooting from the field.
• Men’s basketball record: 6-0
• Up next: 1/2 vs. Rensselaer – 4:00