The Panthers of Middlebury remain undefeated, improving to 12-0 on the season, as they pulled away late to defeat the Jumbos, 82-69. Tufts falls to 8-4 on the season, 1-1 in conference play.
A three-pointer by forward Scott Anderson and a jump shot by sophomore Tom Folliard gave the Jumbos an early 5-0 advantage. The Panthers answered back, and after back-to-back jump shots by Middlebury’s freshman guard Dylan Sinnickson, the Panthers led 15-11. Throughout the first half, the teams exchanged blows. Middlebury went on a 7-0 run behind four straight points from forward Peter Lynch. A strong offensive outburst, including seven straight points from forward Scott Anderson, got the Jumbos to within five, but a three-pointer by Middlebury’s Ryan Sharry kicked off another run for the Panthers that put them ahead by eleven. The Jumbos looked like they’d be heading to the locker room well behind the Panthers, but a layup and a well-timed three-pointer with only four seconds remaining by freshman guard C.J. Moss put the Jumbos to within six points heading into the second half.
Unlike their past two contests, the second half heroics were not there for the Jumbos this time. They came as close as six points, when they trailed 66-60 with just over five minutes to play. However, the Panthers held off a Jumbo rally late behind a balanced offensive attack and strong shooting. Four of the five Panther starters scored in double figures, and five players total scored in the double digits. Senior forward Ryan Sharry led the Panthers and all scorers with 22 points, and Joey Kizel and Lynch both added 16 points. The Panthers shot an astounding 62.5% from the field in the game, while playing strong defensively also with seven blocks as a team.
Anderson led the Jumbos with 19 points, and sophomores Kwame Firempong and Tom Follard added 16 and 10, respectively, to the Jumbo cause. The Jumbos will return to action next Friday when they will look to bounce back at home against Bowdoin College in another NESCAC game.