Hartford, Conn. - The visiting Middlebury College Panthers shot 60.7 percent (17-for-28) from the field in the second half and 66.7 percent (8-for-12) from beyond the three-point line in the second half to earn a 71-57 victory over the Trinity College Bantams in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) men's basketball action this evening on Ogrodnik Court in Oosting Gymnasium. Trinity falls to 10-12 overall and 3-5 in the NESCAC, but has clinched a 10th straight bid to the NESCAC Championship Tournament and will play a quarterfinal game in the tourney next weekend. Middlebury, ranked No. 7 in the nation, improves to 20-2 with its third win in a row and its third straight triumph over the Bantams after 12 straight losses prior. The Panthers reach the 20-win plateau for the second year in a row. Both teams complete their regular seasons tomorrow at 4 p.m., as Trinity hosts No. 2-ranked Williams and Middlebury visits Amherst.
The teams played even in the first half with Middlebury taking a 28-26 thanks to five points in the final two minutes by freshman guard Jake Wolfin (Woodcliff Lake, N.J.). Trinity took a brief lead, 36-32, after a pair of treys by sophomore forward Jon Pike (Exeter, N.H.) and junior guards Ian Fels (Miami, Fla.) early in the second half, but the Panthers responded with a furious 20-3 run over the next seven minutes to go ahead, 52-41, midway through the stanza and led by double figures the rest of the way.
Fels scored a team-high 11 points and junior tri-captain forward Luke MacDougall (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) totaled 10 points and a game-high eight rebounds for the Bantams. Panther junior Ryan Wholey (Pelham, N.H.) and sophomore Ryan Sharry (Braintree, Mass.) each came off the bench to score 15 points, while Wolfin added 13 points and five assists. Sharry pulled down a team-high six boards, while senior co-captain Tim Edwards (Greenwich, Conn.) dished out a game-high eight assists, and junior Andrew Locke (Seattle, Wash.) contributed six rebounds and three blocked shots.