Men's Basketball Clinches Top Spot In NESCAC Tourney With Win At Trinity

February 13, 2009

The Middlebury men's basketball team clinched to top seed for the upcoming NESCAC Tournament for the first time in school history. The Panthers earned the right after a 78-76 double-overtime win at Trinity. The win extends Middlebury's school-record winning streak to 17 games. The Panthers (21-2, 8-0) will wrap up their regular season on Saturday at Amherst (18-5, 6-2), before coming home to host a NESCAC Quarterfinal game next Saturday at 3:00 p.m.

Ben Rudin drove the length of the floor and dished to Andrew Locke for the game-winning lay-up with three seconds left in the second overtime to lead Middlebury to their 10th straight NESCAC road win dating back to '06-'07.

Trinity took a 76-74 lead in the first minute of the second overtime on a jumper by Luke MacDougall, but the Panther defense held Trinity without a point the rest of the way. Free throws by Middlebury's Tim Edwards and Jamal Davis tied the game at 76-76 with two minutes on the clock. Trinity had the ball in the final minute but the Middlebury defense forced a long three-point try by Ian Fels as the shot clock expired. Locke rebounded the ball, passed to Rudin and sprinted to the Middlebury basket to receive Rudin's pass for the clincher.

Trinity's Chris Applegate forced the first overtime on a put-back with nine seconds left in regulation, and Middlebury overcame a six-point deficit with under a minute to play in the first extra frame. Rudin scored two layups in the final 31 seconds of the first overtime, and Panther senior guard Kyle Dudley stole a Trinity pass to set Rudin up for the second one.

MacDougall came off the bench to lead all scorers with a career-high 30 points, making 10 of 15 shots from the field, three out of four from long range, and seven out of eight from the foul line. Aaron Westbrooks added 11 points and eight rebounds, while Paul Rowe had 10 points and five boards. Applegate controlled the glass with a game-high 12 rebounds and blocked a pair of shots and Fels dished out six assists.

Rudin totaled 23 points and six assists for Middlebury, while Aaron Smith added 15 points, and Ryan Sharry had 11 points and a team-high nine rebounds off the Panther bench.