Men's Basketball Wins 14th In A Row Beating Williams

January 31, 2009

Middlebury never trailed on their way to a 67-62 win over Williams at Pepin Gym on Saturday afternoon. With the victory, the Panthers extend their school-record winning streak to 14, while their Pepin Gym winning streak improves to nine in a row, dating back to last season's 96-59 win over Williams in the NESCAC Tournament. The win leaves Middlebury (18-2, 5-0) atop the NESCAC standings, while Williams (14-6, 4-1) suffers their first conference loss of the season.

The Panthers built an early 9-2 lead highlighted by threes from Tim Edwards and Kyle Dudley. The Ephs responded with a 7-0 run, knotting the game at nine apiece with 16:01 left in the first. With the game tied for the final time at 20-20 at the 7:50 mark, Middlebury closed out the first half on a 19-4 run. Aaron Smith led the charge, scoring eight of his 14 points during the run. A lay-up by Ryan Sharry at the buzzer gave the Panthers a 39-24 lead at intermission.

Middlebury maintained a double-digit lead through the early part of the second half, but committed several fouls that put the Ephs in the bonus at the 11:36 mark. Williams slowly chipped away at the Panther lead from the line, connecting on their next 13 of 14 free throws, including six by Blake Schultz. With 2:43 left, the Middlebury lead was cut to 62-58 on a pair of free throws by Williams' Kevin Snyder. Ben Rudin hit a jumper for the Panthers at the 2:25 mark before Schultz answered with a jumper of his own with 2:04 on the clock.

Trailing 64-60 with 45 seconds left, the Ephs fouled Smith who hit both ends of the one-and-one for a 66-60 lead. Williams cut the lead to four one final time before Dudley hit one of two free throws with 17 seconds left for a 67-62 lead. The Ephs missed on their next possession as Edwards collected the rebound for Middlebury, sealing the win.

Rudin paced Middlebury scoring a team-high 15 points and dishing out four assists. Smith chipped in 14 and Dudley added 11, while Andrew Locke grabbed a game-high eight rebounds and blocked four shots. Schultz led all scorers with 21 for Williams as Snyder netted 14.