Middlebury

Wolfin Earns 1,000th As Men's Basketball Thumps Lyndon State

February 5, 2013

Middlebury’s Jake Wolfin became the 18th player in school history to surpass the 1,000-point plateau, as the fifth-ranked Panthers (20-1) cruised to an 89-59 win over Lyndon State (9-11). Wolfin, who now has 1,004 points in 108 games, becomes the second player this season to join the 1,000-point club after Nolan Thompson did so on January 18th. Historically, it is the fifth time Middlebury posted a 20-win season, as the Panthers hit the 20-win plateau each season since the 2008-09 campaign.

Middlebury jumped out to an early 11-0 lead sparked by six straight post-up points by Peter Lynch to open the contest. The Panthers, who never trailed in the contest, took a 21-7 lead on a three from Wolfin, as Middlebury’s all-time assist leader scored his 1,000th point on the long distance bucket at 9:47.

Over the next six minutes the Panthers extended their lead to 34-13, but the Hornets went on a 7-0 run, capped by a three from Jason Gray at 1:57, cutting the deficit to 34-20. Lyndon’s Jose Fortunato's buzzer-beating tap-in ended the first half as the hosts took a 41-26 lead into the break.

After a Lyndon basket opened the second half, the Panthers responded with a three from Joey Kizel, followed by back-to-back threes from Nolan Thompson and a rim-rocking dunk by James Jensen highlighting a 15-4 run that blew the game wide open. Leading 56-32 with 15:12 remaining, the Middlebury lead grew to 30 on a Hunter Merryman three, later bulging to 39 points in the waning minutes as the Panthers cruised to the 89-59 victory.

Merryman led all scorers with 16 points off the bench on 6-9 shooting from the field. Thompson added 15 points and a game-best seven rebounds, while Lynch added a dozen points as five of his six rebounds were on the offensive glass, as Kizel chipped in 10. Wolfin finished with seven points for the Panthers, adding seven assists and two steals.

Gray led Lyndon with 13 points on 6-15 shooting, while Devyn Baranauskas added 11. The Hornets were out-rebounded 52-30 in the game and hit .381 (24-63) from the floor as well as .222 (4-18) from downtown.

Middlebury returns to NESCAC action hosting Amherst on Friday night and Trinity on Saturday, wrapping up conference play. Lyndon travels to U. Maine Farmington for a conference tilt as the Hornets cap their season with five consecutive NAC contests.

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