Men's Hoops Headed To NESCAC Final Four
February 26, 2008
The Middlebury men's basketball team will make its first trip to the NESCAC Championship weekend on March 1st and 2nd at Amherst. The Panthers will take on Trinity on Saturday at 8:00 p.m., while the host school meets Bowdoin at 6:00 p.m. The NESCAC Championship game will take place on Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. Amherst is also the host site for the women's championship the same weekend.
Middlebury enters the game after dismantling Williams 96-59 in a NESCAC quarterfinal game in Pepin Gym on Saturday. The Panthers outscored the Ephs 36-5 in the final 11:33 of the game to cruise to their second win over Williams this season. Middlebury placed six players in double figures, shooting .583 on the afternoon.
Middlebury is ranked second in the NESCAC in scoring offense (79.0), while holding down the third spot in field goal percentage defense (.397) this season. The Panthers lead the league and the nation with 6.28 blocked shots/game. Middlebury set a school record with 19 wins this season against just six losses. The school's previous highs in wins were 17 in '74-'75 and 15 on four different occasions. The Panthers have also scored more points this season (1,976) than any other season in the 91-year history of the program.
Andrew Harris leads the team in scoring this season with 14.6 points/game, while pacing the team with 60 three-point field goals made. The senior is tied for second on the school's all-time list with 177 made from behind the arc. Harris missed seven games with an injury this season, but has returned to the line-up strong.
Aaron Smith is second on the squad in scoring (14.0 ppg) while leading the team with 8.1 rebounds/game, placing him second in the league. The junior shoots an impressive .631 from the floor, leading the team and placing him third among his NESCAC peers.
Junior Ben Rudin is the team's point guard, leading the squad with 4.2 assists/game, while scoring 10.2/contest. First-year player Ashton Coghlan is the top scorer off the bench, averaging 9.2 points/game, knocking down almost 47 percent of this three's.
Sophomore Tim Edwards paces the team and is fourth in the league with 1.72 thefts/game, while scoring 8.2/contest. Walsh also scores 8.1/game, while ranking second on the team with 6.6 boards/contest.
Junior Kyle Dudley (7.4 ppg), senior Albert Handy (4.1 ppg), sophomore Kevin Kelleher (3.1 ppg) and rookie Andrew Locke, the conference's leading shot blocker (2.1/game), round out the major contributors off the bench.
Middlebury and Trinity met on January 26th in Vermont, with the Bantams coming away with a 74-71 win. The Panthers shot just .358 from the floor in the game and forced 18 Trinity turnovers. The Bantams lead the all-time series 41-11 and have won the last dozen meetings.
2008 NESCAC Men's Basketball Championship
Semifinals - Saturday, March 1 at Amherst
#4 Bowdoin (20-5) at #1 Amherst (23-2) - 6:00 p.m.
#3 Middlebury (19-6) vs. #2 Trinity (19-6) - 8:00 p.m.
Championship - Sunday, March 2 at Amherst - 2:30 p.m.