Fifth-ranked Middlebury saw its 11-game winning streak come to an end with a 102-81 loss at #15 Hamilton (20-2, 7-2) on Friday night. The Continentals now control their own destiny, as a win tomorrow against Williams would clinch the top seed for the upcoming NESCAC Tournament. The Panthers (19-4, 7-2), currently tied for first with Hamilton, return to action on Saturday when they wrap up their regular season with a 3:00 p.m. tip at Amherst.
The Continentals held a 38-32 lead at the break, as both teams came out firing in the second half. Hamilton took its first 10-point lead at 53-43 on a layup by Andrew Groll with 14:19 left.
The Panthers scored seven-straight points and cut their deficit to three at 56-53 with 11:41 remaining. Adisa Majors and Eric McCord scored from close range and Matt Folger canned a three-pointer for Middlebury. The Continentals pushed their lead back to 10 at 67-57 with an 11-4 run over the next 2:10. Michael Grassey started it with a trifecta and a layup, Ty Washington answered a McCord basket with a three-pointer, and Tim Doyle swished another shot from beyond the arc after a Folger layup.
The Panthers didn't get closer than seven points during the final 10 minutes, and Hamilton went up by double digits for good at 83-73 on a Peter Hoffmann layup with 3:46 to go.
McCord paced a balanced Middlebury attack with 21 points on 8-13 shooting from the floor to go along with eight rebounds. Folger scored 17 points, Jack Daly added 15 with nine rebounds and six assists, while Jack Farrell netted 11.
Kena Gilmour led all scorers with 29 points, Doyle scored 19, while Grassey chipped in with 11.
Hamilton was red hot from the floor, shooting 52.5 percent overall, going 15-24 (.625) from three-point range and 25-32 (.781) from the line.