Middlebury

Men's Basketball Ties School Record With 17th Win

February 9, 2008

Middlebury (17-5, 5-2) tied the school record for wins with their 17th of the season as the Panthers picked up a 92-71 road win at Bates (15-6, 4-3). The visiting Panthers shot 57.1 percent from the field, including 64.3% from behind the three-point arc, while snapping Bates' six-game win streak with a 92-71 NESCAC victory at Alumni Gymnasium. It was the highest point total allowed by Bates since Feb. 28, 2004.

Middlebury received 23 points on 10 of 13 shooting from Aaron Smith, and 23 more from Ashton Coghlan, who shot 8-for-11, including 5-6 behind the arc. Andrew Harris added 15 points, shooting 6-for-9. With Coghlan and Harris both coming off the bench for the Panthers, Middlebury had a 46-5 advantage in bench points for the game.

Bryan Wholey led four Bobcats in double figures with 20 points. Wholey and the Bobcats went cold for most of the game, shooting only 31.3% from the floor, including 4-of-26 (15.4%) behind the arc. They stayed in the game largely at the free throw line, hitting 27 of 31 shots, including 10-11 from Wholey. Brian Ellis added 16 points, with Chris Wilson and Pat Halloran adding 13 apiece.

Using a frantic offensive tempo, Middlebury got out to a 49-37 lead by halftime while hitting 18 of 31 shots. Bates stayed under 20 percent shooting for much of the first half before finishing the period at 30.8%.

The half ended ominously for Bates, as Andrew Locke blocked a layup by Wholey, and Coghlan scooped up the rebound and hit a buzzer-beating shot near halfcourt.

A pair of free throws and a three by Halloran cut the Middlebury lead to 51-44 early in the second half, but the Panthers then ripped off 10 straight points, including a step-back three on the right wing by Coghlan followed by another Coghlan three from the left corner that made it 61-44 with 14:52 to play.

An energized Bates squad didn't let up, responding with a 12-1 run, including seven points by Wholey, to scratch their way back. A Wholey steal led to a putback by Sean Wirth to bring Bates within five, at 62-57, with 11:10 to play.

Coghlan again galvanized the Panthers, as he hit a layup, and followed hoops by Ben Rudin and Aaron Smith with his fourth 3-pointer to bump the lead back to 12 with 9:15 to go.

A three by Ellis cut it to 77-69 with 4:16 left, but a Smith low-post jumper and Coghlan's final three were the game-ending daggers, making it 82-69 with 2:20 left. Middlebury outscored Bates 15-2 over the final four minutes, expanding the lead to a game-high 21 before the final horn sounded.