Men's Basketball Headed To NESCAC Finals

February 25, 2012

Middlebury will make its fourth straight NESCAC Championship game appearance after a 74-52 win over Wesleyan in a semifinal match-up at Amherst. The Panthers (24-2)  will look for their second straight title and third in four years as they battle the host school at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. The Cardinals fall to 20-5 with the loss.

Leading 26-25 with 3:38 remaining, Middlebury closed the first half on a 16-2 run to take a 42-27 lead into the intermission. The Panthers hit four straight threes during the run, including a pair from Jake Wolfin and a two and a three from Ryan Sharry. Middlebury shot .516 from the floor in the first half, going 4-10 from three-point range after missing their first six attempts. The Panther held Wesleyan to .375 from the floor, dominating the boards at 25-12.

Wesleyan opened the second half on a 9-0 run to jump right back in the game at 42-36 with 17:18 remaining. Mike Callaghan scored five points during the surge, with four coming from Sasha Brown.

Leading 47-41 at the 13:16 mark, the Panthers went on a lengthy  19-2 run over the game’s next 6:13, taking a 66-43 lead on a pair of free throws from Nate Bullock with 7:03 remaining. Bullock knocked down 7-8 free throws during the stretch, while Nolan Thompson hit a two and a three.

Middlebury kept up the pressure down the stretch, emerging with the 74-52 victory. Ryan Sharry led the team with his 14th double-double of the season, earning a game-high 18 points and 14 rebounds. Thompson added 12 points in the win, Wolfin scored 10, while Joey Kizel had nine points with seven assists. Bullock added nine points in the victory, going 9-10 from the line.

Callaghan led the Cardinals with 16 points and seven boards, Brown added 14, while Glen Thomas scored 10 with seven rebounds.

Middlebury held a 47-32 advantage on the boards, holding Wesleyan to just 1-9 shooting from three-point range.