Men's Hoops Wins At Amherst, Finish 8-1 In NESCAC Play

February 13, 2010

Middlebury ended NESCAC play with an 85-72 win at Amherst. The seventh-ranked Panthers move to 21-2 overall, earning the second seed in the upcoming NESCAC Tournament with an 8-1 record in league play. Middlebury will host seventh-seeded Trinity next Saturday in a quarterfinal match-up in Pepin Gym. Amherst drops to 14-10 (3-6 NESCAC) and will be the sixth seed, visiting #3 Colby next Saturday.

The first five minutes of play had Amherst and Middlebury going back and forth, with DJ Carcieri making a layup at the 14:54 mark to tie the game 12-12.

Following the Carcieri score to tie the game, Middlebury responded with an 11-0 run to take a 23-12 lead. During the scoring spurt, Nolan Thompson made a three and Middlebury center Andrew Locke scored in the paint. Middlebury's lead grew to 30-15 as Locke made his presence felt on the defensive end, before Amherst made its next run at the Panthers. The Lord Jeffs went to Peter Kaasila to combat the impact of 6'10" Locke, and the Amherst big man sparked a comeback to close the gap to 38-32 in the final minutes of the first half.

At the half, Middlebury held a 46-38 lead as Amherst's Willy Workman scored with one second remaining in the frame. The second stanza saw the Middlebury lead hover around 10 points until the middle of the half. Workman and Kaasila lifted Amherst to a 5-0 run, and with 10:02 remaining, Amherst trailed just 63-58.

With just under six minutes to play, Middlebury got back-to-back scores from Ryan Wholey to open up a 72-61 lead. Wholey took over the game for the Panthers down the stretch, making a handful of free throws and playing solid defense to go alongside Locke. Wholey finished the night with 22 points to lead all players as Middlebury closed out the game 85-72.

Locke scored 17 points before fouling out, but made his impact on defense where he had a career-high eight blocks. Ryan Sharry also added a double-double for Middlebury, adding 14 points and 12 rebounds in the win. Amherst was paced by Kaasila's 17 points on 6-for-12 shooting, while Spencer Noon had a career-high 14 points off the bench.