Men's Basketball Falls In NESCAC Semifinals
March 1, 2008
Trinity closed the game on a 15-3 run as the Bantams picked up a 72-63 win over Middlebury in a NESCAC semifinal game played at Amherst. The Panthers move to 19-7 on the season and will have a shot of an NCAA at-large bid when the pairings are announced on Monday. Middlebury was making its first appearance in the semifinal round of the tournament, boasting a school-record 19 wins.
Trinity came out strong, jumping to an 11-2 lead in the game's first 3:18 of play. Andrew Harris answered with a three for Middlebury, before the Panthers cut the lead to four at 15-11 on a pair of free throws from Ben Rudin. A 5-0 spurt would give Trinity a 27-17 lead with 7:51 left to play in the first half. The lead grew to as many as 11, with a hoop from Mike Walsh cutting the advantage to 37-30 with 51 seconds remaining in the half. Russ Martin scored on a put-back as time expired to give the Bantams a 39-30 halftime lead.
Trinity maintained the lead early in the second half, with a three from Harris cutting the lead to 43-37 with 13:53 left to play. Harris stuck another three later in the half to bring the Panthers within one at 49-48 at the 8:10 mark. Two possessions later, Harris gave Middlebury its first lead of the game at 52-51, by converting a four-point play with a three from deep in the corner. With the game tied at 54, Rudin ran off Middlebury's next six points, including a nice reverse lay-up to give the Panthers a 60-57 lead with 3:16 remaining.
Unfortunately for Middlebury, they would go 1-7 in the game's final 2:35, turning the ball over once and going 0-3 from the free throw line. Trinity's decisive 15-3 run saw them go 4-4 from the floor and 6-8 from the charity stripe.
Harris led all players with 24 points for Middlebury on 8-14 shooting, 5-9 from behind the arc. Rudin added 15, Ashton Coghlan scored seven, while Walsh had six points and five boards.
Trinity had four players in double-digits, with Robert Taylor scoring 22 and Patrick Hasiuk dropping 19.