Middlebury

Men's Basketball Handles Bates

January 6, 2012

Middlebury opened up NESCAC play with a convincing 79-57 win over Bates (6-5, 0-1) in Pepin Gym. The Panthers (11-0, 1-0) shot .508 from the floor, knocking down 16 of 20 free throws. Both teams return to action tomorrow with Bates visiting Williams and Middlebury hosting Tufts at 4:00 p.m.

The Panthers opened the game on a 12-2 run in the opening 6:33, highlighted by an eight-point and four rebound start from Ryan Sharry. After a Bates timeout, the Bobcats made their best run of the game as the tandem of Graham Safford and Will Furbush accounted for the next 10 points, cutting the deficit to 14-12 with 9:35 left. Safford bookended the run with a pair of baskets, as Furbush netted a traditional three-point play with a long-range trey for the other six points during the run.

That was as close as Bates would get as Middlebury ended the first half on a decisive 27-9 run, taking a 41-21 lead at the break. Sharry added another eight points with three lay-ups all set up by great feeds from the guard duo of Joey Kizel and Jake Wofin. The pair had seven of Middlebury’s 11 first half assists allowing the Panthers to shoot .571 from the floor. Sharry ended the half with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Kizel, and reserves James Jensen and Dylan Sinnickson each chipped in six points in the first stanza.

In the second half the Panther lead hovered around 20 points before a pair of Sinnickson buckets boosted the advantage to 57-32 with 11:53 left to play. The Bobcats could only close the deficit to 17 points on two occasions as Middlebury cruised to a 79-57 win.

Sharry netted a game-high 24 points on 7-10 shooting to go along with 10 boards. Sinnickson finished with 13 on 5-6 shooting, while Kizel added a dozen with five helpers.

Furbush paced the Bobcats with 23 points, shooting 8 of 10 from the floor, while Safford scored 19 with 10 made free throws.

Box Score