Men's Basketball Improves To 18-1

February 5, 2011

Four players reached double figures as Middlebury survived a second-half rally from Bowdoin in a 74-59 win on Saturday afternoon at Morrell Gymnasium. The eighth-ranked Panthers clinch a NESCAC Quarterfinal home game with the victory and improve to 18-1 overall (6-1 NESCAC). The Polar Bears fall to 13-7 (2-5 NESCAC) with the setback.

Jake Wolfin led Middlebury with 14 points to go with four assists and three steals. Nolan Thompson and Andrew Locke scored 13 apiece for the Panthers while Jamal Davis added 10 off the bench. Bowdoin’s Will Hanley led all players with 20 points and 15 rebounds as Ryan O’Connell (14) and Justin Nowell (12) also scored in double digits.

The Panthers opened up a 12-point lead at intermission thanks to 10 first-half points from Wolfin, including a pair of three-pointers that keyed a late 11-3 surge to give Middlebury the lead at halftime. The Polar Bears came out firing in the first four minutes of the second half, as Ryan O’Connell sparked a 14-2 run out of the break with a pair of three-pointers to tie the game at 37 apiece.

A trio of lay-ins by Nolan Thompson ignited an 8-0 run for the Panthers that pushed the lead to 51-43 with 11 minutes to go. Bowdoin was able to trim the Middlebury lead to four points, 52-48, on a Hanley lay-up with 9:40 to go, but the Panthers answered with a 9-2 run, capped by a Andrew Locke dunk and floater in the lane by Joey Kizel that pushed the lead back to 11 points with under four minutes to play.

Middlebury held a 43-34 edge in rebounds, thanks to 12 caroms from Ryan Sharry. The Panthers bench outscored Bowdoin’s 19-4 in the victory.