Men's Basketball Sets School Record With 18th Win
February 15, 2008
Middlebury set a school record with its 18th win of the season, as the Panthers (18-5) picked up a 75-71 win over Wesleyan (8-15) in Pepin Gym. With the win, Middlebury guarantees itself a first-round home game when the NESCAC Tournament begins next Saturday. The Panthers wrap-up their regular season when they host Connecticut College on Saturday, while the Cardinals play at Williams.
Leading 17-15 at the 10:03 mark of the first half, Middlebury went on a 12-2 run over the game's next 4:15 to take a 29-17 lead. Ben Rudin sparked the run with a two and a three, as the Panthers led by a dozen with 5:48 remaining in the half. Wesleyan came back late in the half with a 5-0 run in the final 47 seconds to make it a 33-29 game at the intermission. Stan Grayson hit a pair of buckets during the run, as the Cardinals outscored the Panthers 8-1 from the free throw line in the first half.
Wesleyan cut the lead to one on a hoop from Jeremy Kaminer early in the second half, before an 8-0 run gave Middlebury a 46-37 lead at the 13:51 mark. The lead grew to as many as 11, but the Cardinals would not go away as they climbed back in the game each time the Panthers extended their lead. The Cardinals were aided by .552 shooting from the floor in the second half.
The advantage was cut to a pair after a bucket from Nick Pelletier at 6:13, but Middlebury answered to regain a nine-point lead at the 3:54 mark. The Cardinals fouled down the stretch, with the Panthers unable to put the game away until the waning minutes with 11 of 16 free throw shooting in the final 2:17.
Middlebury ended the night with 23 of 39 shooting from the free throw line, as they were out-rebounded 45-35. The Panthers, who lead the nation in blocked shots, ended the night with eight, behind a game-high three from Andrew Locke.
Smith led Middlebury with a game-high 21 points on 8 of 9 shooting, to go along with nine boards. Rudin added 17 points in the win, Ashton Coghlan scored 14, while Andrew Harris added nine.
Grayson paced the Cardinals with 20 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, while Pelletier added 13 points and 11 rebounds in the game.