Men's Basketball Set To Host NESCAC Quarterfinal

February 13, 2007

The Middlebury College men's basketball will host its first-ever NESCAC Tournament game when Colby visits the Pepin Gym on Saturday, February 17th at 2:00 p.m. The fourth-seeded Panthers (15-9) will meet the fifth-seeded Mules (14-10) in one of four NESCAC quarterfinals contests taking place that afternoon.

These two teams met back on January 12th with Middlebury coming away with a 100-93 win in a shoot-out in Pepin Gym. The two teams combined to make 25 of 50 shots from behind the three-point arc, with Middlebury shooting .579 from the floor and Colby hitting .507 of its shots.

Middlebury enters the game after a weekend sweep at Wesleyan and Connecticut College to help secure the fourth seed in the tournament. The Panthers have 15 wins on the year, marking just the third time since the '74-'75 season (17-9) the team has accomplished the feat (15-10 in '02-'03). The Panthers will be making their fourth NESCAC tournament appearance in the seven years of its existence. Middlebury has been eliminated in the first round each year, including a 54-49 loss at Colby in '01.

Middlebury has sported a high-powered offense this season, averaging 80.0 points/game (3rd in NESCAC), including five 100+ point outings. The team has also hits the boards hard, ranking third in the league with a +5.5 rebounding margin.

Junior Andrew Harris is leading the team in scoring with 13.1 points/game, including 16 games in double figures. Harris had a season-high 28 in a win over Colby-Sawyer and 27 last week at Plattsburgh. He leads the team with 62 three-point field goals, shooting an impressive .446 from behind the arc, third in the league.

Evan Thompson is next in the scoring column with 12.8 points/contest this season. The senior is shooting an impressive .515 from the floor and leads the team with 88 free throws made at .815. Thompson exploded for 35 points on February 2nd against Tufts, the most points by a Middlebury player since '97.

Sophomore Aaron Smith has been steady all season long for Middlebury, leading the team with a .616 shooting percentage from the floor, third in NESCAC. Smith scores 11.3 points/game, while leading the team with 6.7 rebounds/contest. He has four double-doubles this season, including a team-high 17 blocked shots.

Ben Rudin runs the offense, leading the team with 102 assists (4.64/game), putting him fifth among his opponents. The sophomore scores 9.3 points/game, while averaging almost a steal/game.

First-year player Tim Edwards rounds out the starting line-up with 7.9 points/game. He leads the team with 42 steals and is second with 2.2 helpers/game.

The Panthers have four players off the bench averaging more than 10 minutes/game. Junior Chris Dowd (5.7 ppg), senior Wil Hyatt (5.5 ppg, .510 3-pt. FG%), junior Mike Walsh (4.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg) and senior Bobby Marcoux (3.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg).

Colby enters the game having won its last four games, including NESCAC victories over Bowdoin, Bates and Tufts. This will be the Mules fourth tournament appearance with a 1-3 overall record.

Nick Farrell leads the team and NESCAC in scoring with 19 points/game, while adding 4.0 assists/contest. The senior poured in 32 points in the earlier season meeting between the schools. Senior Drew Cohen scores 15 points/game, while grabbing a team-high 8.7 rebounds/contest. He is the current NESCAC Player of the Week after averaging 24 points, 10 rebounds, 5.5 blocks and 4.0 assists/game in a pair of road wins last week.

2007 NESCAC Men's Basketball Tournament

Quarterfinals, Saturday, February 17th
#8 Bates (18-6, 3-6) @ #1 Amherst (23-1, 8-1) - 3:00 p.m.
#7 Bowdoin (14-9, 3-6) @ #2 Trinity (20-3, 7-2) - 3:00 p.m.
#6 Tufts (14-9, 5-4) @ #3 Williams (13-11, 6-3) - 2:00 p.m.
#5 Colby (14-10, 5-4) @ #4 Middlebury (15-9, 5-4) - 2:00 p.m.