Middlebury, Vt. - Ryan Sharry scored 18 points and grabbed seven boards as the No. 2-seed Middlebury College Panthers men's basketball team edged the No. 7 seed Trinity College Bantams 56-52 in a NESCAC Championship Tournament quarterfinal match-up at Pepin Gym this afternoon. The loss ends Trinity season, after finishing with a 10-14 mark. Middlebury advances to the semifinal round of the tournament, which will be played next Sat.
Middlebury took a 6-2 lead early behind a pair of hoops from Andrew Locke, but their shooting would go ice-cold for much of the half. Trailing 8-6, Trinity went on a 9-0 run to take a 15-8 lead with 11:14 left in the half. The Bantams extended their lead to as many as eight, with Middlebury's Nolan Thompson tying the game at 24 with 1:55 left in the half following one of six blocks from Locke. Trinity answered, taking a 28-26 lead into the intermission. The Panthers made just 1 of 10 three-point field goals in the first half, shooting .310 overall from the floor.
Trinity led early in the second half, until the Panthers tied the game at 39 on a three-point play from Sharry with 12:44 remaining. The teams exchange threes late, with junior Brian Ford (Bronx, N.Y.) knocking one down for Trinity before Jake Wolfin answered for the Panthers to give his team a 53-52 lead with 2:14 remaining.
Trailing by one, the Bantams had the ball with 34 seconds remaining, but turned it over. Wolfin hit a pair of free throws on the other end of the court before the Bantams missed a three with 21 seconds remaining. Sharry hit one of two free throws to put the game out of reach as the Panthers emerged with the 56-52 victory.
Sharry led all scorers with 18 points, while pulling down seven rebounds. Tim Edwards added 14 points, while Wolfin netted seven with six assists. Senior Ian Fels (Miami, Fl.) led Trinity with 15 points, while Ford scored 13, and senior tri-captain Luke MacDougall (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) grabbed a game-high 12 boards.