Men's Basketball Wins Home-Opener

November 22, 2011

The fifth-ranked Middlebury men’s basketball team handed St. Joseph’s College of Rutland its first loss of the season (5-1), as the Panthers (3-0) picked up a 61-48 win in their home-opener in Pepin Gym. Middlebury was playing without pre-season All-American Ryan Sharry, who was missing his third straight game with an injury. The Panthers return to action on Sunday at Johnson State.

Leading 17-15 at the 8:08 mark of the first half, Middlebury went on a 13-2 run over the next 7:04 to take a 30-17 advantage on a three from Dean Brierley with 1:04 left in the half. Middlebury went into the locker room with a 32-22 advantage, shooting .591 from the floor.

The lead hovered at 10 for much of the second half, extending to 13 on a hoop from Dylan Sinnickson with 14:04 remaining. The Saints responded with a quick 5-0 spurt on a three-point play from Rahiem Smalls to make it a 42-34 contest at the 13:12 mark.

The lead increased to 11 before a lay-up from Evan Jobst put St. Joseph’s within seven at 46-39 with 6:30 left to play. A big three from Nolan Thompson put the lead in double-digits, 49-39 at the 4:51 mark. The Panthers led by as many as 15 down the stretch, settling for a 61-48 final.

Thompson and Peter Lynch led Middlebury with 14 points apiece, with Lynch adding seven boards and three blocks. Joey Kizel scored a dozen with four helpers, while Brierley added seven.

Jamie Rajda scored 11 with seven boards for the Saints, while K.J. Jackson also netted 11 with a game-high nine rebounds. Smalls added nine points and five boards in the contest.

Box Score