Men's Basketball Drops NESCAC Semi In OT

February 23, 2013

Middlebury dropped an 87-80 overtime contest to Williams in the semifinals of the NESCAC Tournament at Amherst. The fourth-ranked Panthers fall to 22-3 on the season, while the seventh-ranked Ephs move to 23-3. Two of Middlebury’s three losses this season have come in overtime (Amherst/Williams), with the other being a one-point loss at Williams on January 26th. The Panthers will look for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament when the pairings are announced on Monday, February 25th.

The teams battled early on, with Williams taking a 13-8 lead on a bucket from James Klemm at the 13:18 mark of the first half. Middlebury tied the game at 18 before taking its first lead of the game (20-19) on a jumper from Nate Bullock with 8:46 remaining. With the game knotted at 22, the Ephs went on a 9-2 run to take a 31-24 advantage at the 4:56 mark. Threes from Klemm and Daniel Wohl sparked the run for Williams. Middlebury came within four, before the Ephs took a 37-30 advantage into the locker room.

Trailing by seven, the Panthers used threes from Nolan Thompson and Joey Kizel to go on an 8-2 spurt to come within one at 42-41 with 15:54 left to play. The lead grew to five on a three from Eph Nate Robertson, before Jake Wolfin answered for Middlebury, followed by a bucket from Peter Lynch to knot the game at 48 at the 12:43 mark.

The teams went back and forth down the stretch, with Taylor Epley hitting a three to put Williams up 76-73 with 1:31 on the clock. Wolfin answered for the Panthers with just under a minute to go to tie the game at 76. A Williams miss and a Panther turnover left the Ephs the ball in the final seconds, but they were unable to get off a shot as the game went into overtime.

Overtime was slow-going early, with the teams tied at 80 with 1:23 remaining. The Panthers missed a pair of threes and turned the ball over twice in the final 38 seconds of the game, as they sent Williams to the line four times. The Ephs knocked down just 5-8, but it was enough, as they pulled away for the win.

Lynch led Middlebury with 23 points and 12 rebounds, Kizel netted 19 with four steals, while Wolfin scored 11 with nine assists. Thompson grabbed nine boards to go along with his five points, three assists and two steals.

Michael Mayer paced the Ephs with 23 points and 13 boards in the game, while Wohl scored 19 with 4-6 shooting from behind the arc. Klemm also went 4-6 from behind the arc for 14 points, Robertson netted 14 with eight assists, while Epley netted 13.

After shooting 55.9% from the floor in the second half, Middlebury connected on just 2-9 (.222) shots in the overtime period. Williams was red-hot most of the game, shooting 52.5% from the floor, needing to make just 1-3 shots in the extra session.