Second-Half Burst Moves #2 Middlebury Past Plattsburgh

Hilal Dahleh netted 13 points on 5-7 shooting from the floor (Will Costello).
Hilal Dahleh netted 13 points on 5-7 shooting from the floor (Will Costello).

Second-ranked Middlebury went on a 21-3 run early in the second half, pulling away from Plattsburgh in a 92-68 win over the Cardinals (3-2) in Pepin Gym. The Panthers (5-0) return to action on Friday night at #16 Skidmore, while Plattsburgh visits Brockport.

Middlebury led early, extending its lead to 15-4 at the 10:41 mark on a bucket from Griffin Kornaker. A quick 6-0 spurt by Plattsburgh cut the lead to 23-16 on a pair of free throws from Brandon Johnson with 5:42 remaining in the first half. The Panthers slowly extended their lead to as many as 14 (37-23) before the Cardinals closed the half on a 7-1 run, making it a 38-30 game at the break.

The decisive run began at the 18:48 mark of the second half when Middlebury held a slim 38-34 lead. A little over four minutes later, the Panthers led 59-37 after shooting 8-13 from the floor. Matt Folger scored nine points during the run, while Jack Daly netted six. The advantage dipped below 20 just once in the final 14:40 of the game, as Middlebury maintained control of the contest in the second half.

Folger and Daly were two of five players in double figures for the hosts, both netting 14 points. Folger added 10 rebounds and four blocks, while Daly grabbed nine boards and dished out nine assists. With his nine helpers, Daly moved into fifth place all-time at Middlebury with 418. Hilal Dahleh scored 13 points on 5-7 shooting, Jack Farrell went 5-6 from the floor for a career-best 12 points, while Kornaker scored a career-high 11 points, while going 4-5.

Eli Bryant paced the Cardinals with 12 points, Chris Middleton added nine, while Isiah Hill had eight points and nine rebounds.