Men's Basketball Wins NCAA Regional
March 3, 2012
Middlebury advanced to the NCAA Sectionals after an 89-73 win over Albertus Magnus in a regional final game played at Middlebury College. The Panthers (26-3) will make their second-straight trip to the sectional next weekend, when they take on Scranton, while Cabrini meets Eastern Connecticut State. The site of the sectional will be announced on Sunday. The Falcons see their 23-game winning streak come to an end, finishing the year at 28-2. The game was played before a third-straight sellout crowd of 1,200 in Pepin Gym.
Albertus Magnus came out charging, taking a 7-0 lead on two buckets from Jefferson Lora and a three from Ray Askew at the 17:47 mark. Middlebury answered with an 11-0 run taking an 11-7 lead with 14:35 left in the first half. Ryan Sharry hit a jumper, a three, and capped the run with a huge dunk as the Panthers regained momentum.
The Falcons’ second leading scorer Darius Watson went to the bench midway through the first half with his second foul, and would not return until the second session. Leading 15-14, Middlebury’s Peter Lynch converted lay-ups on three straight trips with great passes from Jake Wolfin and Joey Kizel to give the Panthers a 21-16 lead with 7:19 remaining in the half. Middlebury led 21-20 prior to a 13-2 run to give them a 34-22 lead, capped by a hoop from Sharry with 2:35 remaining. Dylan Sinnickson sparked the run with six points, while Sharry scored four including a huge dunk in traffic at the 4:00 mark. The Panthers held on to a double-digit lead for the remainder of the half, taking a 38-26 lead into the intermission.
Middlebury shot 50% from the floor in the first half, hitting 1-6 threes and 7-13 from the line. Albertus Magnus shot just 26.7%, making 2-8 from three-point range and 8-10 from the line.
The Panthers made it a 16-point game at the 16:01 mark on a three from Kizel and a lay-up from James Jensen to make it a 46-30 game. The lead continued to grow, with Middlebury taking a 65-43 lead at the 10:21 mark on a three from Wolfin and a nice bucket from Sharry on a Wolfin dish. The lead hovered around 20 for the remainder of the contest, with late threes from Watson and Julian Sanders make it an 89-73 final.
Sharry recorded his 16th double-double of the season, netting 21 points and a game-high 15 boards to go along with three blocks. Lynch netted 14 on 7-11 shooting, while Nolan Thompson scored 14. Kizel and James Jensen each scored 11, with Kizel dishing out six helpers. Wolfin chipped in with seven points and seven assists.
Ray Askew scored a game-high 26 points to pace Albertus Magnus, pulling down 11 boards with three blocks. Watson and Jefferson Lora each netted 11, while Sanders added 10.