Men's Basketball Wins NESCAC Opener

January 15, 2010

 Middlebury opened NESCAC play with a 71-62 win over Bates on Friday night at Pepin Gym. Andrew Locke posted a career-high with 25 points, and matched his personal best with seven blocks, to go along with nine rebounds and 10/11 shooting. The 10th ranked Panthers improve to 13-1 and 1-0 in NESCAC play, while Bates drops to 6-7 and 0-1 in league play. Both teams return to action Saturday afternoon as Bates travels to Williams while the Panthers host Tufts at 4 p.m.

Trailing 6-5 early in the game, Middlebury went on a 7-0 spurt for a 12-6 lead with 14:18 remaining in the first half. Locke chipped in a bucket and hit a free throw as Ryan Sharry added four points including a pair of free throws capping the run. The lead grew to 20-13 with 8:38 left before the Bobcats closed the gap to 20-18 on a jumper by Jimmy O'Keefe at the 7:25 mark. Middlebury went on an 11-4 spurt over the next six minutes when Mark Brust capped the first half scoring at 31-24 on a jumper with 59 seconds left.

Bates burst out of the gates to start the second with a 10-2 run, taking its first lead of the second half at 14:52. Nick Schmiemann added a pair of buckets, while three other Bobcats chipped in basket for a 34-33 lead. Middlebury regained the lead on its next possession with a lay-in by Sharry which ignited a 20-9 run over the next six minutes. Locked chipped in seven points, including a pair of dunks, along with a block and an assist during the spurt. The Panther lead hovered around ten points, bulging to 65-51 with 3:49 remaining when Locke grabbed a defensive rebound, found Jamal Davis who set up a three by Jake Wolfin.

With 54 seconds left, Locke hit one of two free throws for a 68-57 lead. Schmiemann connected on a three for the Bobcats, cutting the Panther advantage to 68-60 with 46 seconds remaining. Bates put Middlebury on the line in the final seconds, but the Panthers went 3/4 down the stretch, to seal the win.

Locke led all players with 25 points, nine rebounds and seven blocks. Wolfin scored 10 for the Panthers, hitting 3/4 threes, while Tim Edwards added a game-high nine assists for Middlebury. Brian Ellis led Bates with 22 points and eight rebounds, while O'Keefe added a dozen and Schmiemann chipped in 10.