Men's Hoops Keeps Rolling With Win Over Hamilton
January 2, 2010
Middlebury broke open a halftime tie against Hamilton, pulling out a 62-47 victory at Pepin Gym on Saturday. The Panthers' defense held the Continentals to .229 shooting from the floor in the second half and .258 for the game. With the win, the Panthers extend their school-best start to a season at 9-0, while the Continentals even their overall mark at 4-4.
After Middlebury opened an early 6-0 cushion, Hamilton battled back tying the game at six apiece with 15:50 left in the first half. The visitors took their first lead at 13:16 on a lay-up by Hugh Hunter and followed a Panther miss with a bucket from Ken Click for a 13-10 advantage with 12:51 on the clock. Middlebury responded with a 7-0 run over the next three minutes, building a 17-13 lead with 9:51 remaining. Jake Wolfin keyed the burst with five points including a three-pointer. The Panthers held a small lead through the next several minutes before Hamilton's Pat Sullivan hit a jumper, cutting their deficit to 24-23 with 56 seconds left in the first. Teammate Jay Simpson hit a pair of free throws with 30 ticks left, giving the Continentals a 25-24 lead.
Middlebury retook the lead at 27-25 with 15 seconds left on a three from Winslow Hicks. In the final seconds, Simpson was fouled driving to the hoop for the equalizer. He hit both attempts and sent the teams to intermission locked at 27 apiece.
Both teams played even in the first few minutes of the second half before Hamilton cracked open their largest lead at 38-33 on a 7-0 burst. A three from Ephraim McDowell at the 12:30 mark capped the run. The Panthers answered again, notching their own 11-0 run over the next four minutes, for a 44-38 lead. Threes by Tim Edwards and Nolan Thompson along with a traditional three-point play by Ryan Sharry highlighted the burst.
The Panthers lead grew to 11 before a three by Russ Rosenband with 3:15 left set the score at 55-47. The score could have been cut to six after Simpson stole the ball and dashed to the hoop for a Hamilton lay-in, but the ball rattled out. In transition, Wolfin hit a huge three-pointer for an 11 point cushion with 2:45 remaining, thwarting the Hamilton comeback bid.
Sharry had a huge day with 13 points and a game-high 11 boards to go along with his career-best six blocks. Wolfin added 13 while Thompson chipped in 11 for Middlebury. Sullivan paced Hamilton with 13 points and nine rebounds, both team highs. McDowell added eight, as Simpson chipped in six and swiped a game-high three steals.