Men's Basketball Wins Opener

November 16, 2012

Nationally-ranked Middlebury put four players in double figures as the fourth-ranked Panthers (1-0) handed Ursinus (0-1) a 78-73 loss Friday night in the opening game of the 20th annual Rinso Marquette Tournament hosted by Lebanon Valley College. The Panthers will play in the championship game on Saturday at 3:00 p.m.

Middlebury was led by 13 points each from Nolan Thompson and Hunter Merryman, while Joey Kizel had 12. Peter Lynch and Jake Wolfin added 10 points apiece, with six boards from Thompson and four assists apiece for Wolfin and Kizel. Ursinus was led by Kevin Janowski who had a game-high 19 points. Jon Ward scored 19 with Ryan Adams scoring 12.

Middlebury survived two nine-point rallies by Ursinus, as the Panthers took the lead for good with a three-pointer by Merryman with 8:37 to play. Leading 65-58 with 6:37 left in the game, the Panthers saw the Bears rally all the way to within one at 69-68 on a pair of foul shots by Ward.

However, a three-pointer by Thompson with 2:57 left put the Panthers up four at 72-68 as they held on for the win.

In the first half, Ursinus took an early 6-0 lead, and took their biggest lead of the game at 9-2 on a three-pointer by Donahue at the 15:45 mark. Middlebury responded back with a 13-4 scoring jaunt, taking its first lead at 15-13 on a jumper by Nate Bulluck.

Ursinus grabbed the lead back, then went up by three at 20-17 on a jumper by Vasturia with 8:43 left. Leading 22-19, the Bears saw the Panthers rally to go up three at 26-23 on a basket by Wolfin.

Trailing 35-33, Middlebury would close the half by scoring the final six points capped by a basket from Matt Daley for a 39-35 intermission lead.

Middlebury had a 21-14 lead on the board after the first 20 minutes, including an 8-3 edge on offensive rebounds.

In the second half, the Panthers continued their scoring run and went up by as much as nine at 48-39 on a three-pointer by Thompson.

Ursinus rallied back again as the Bears went on an 11-2 run to go up 51-50 on a three-pointer by Adams with 12:38 left.

In a game that featured 13 lead changes, both squads traded one-point leads, before Ursinus went up by two at 58-56 on a basket by Ward with 10:26 left. Following a Middlebury timeout, the Panthers scored the next nine points and took the lead for good.

The Panthers overcame cold shooting at the foul line, going just 7-14 in the game after a 1-5 performance in the first half. The Panthers had a 38-32 edge on the glass, with a commanding 14-8 lead in the offensive end.

Middlebury also had 12 steals, four of which came from junior forward James Jensen.