Middlebury improved to 11-4 overall and 1-1 in NESCAC play as they defeated Wesleyan (6-8, 0-2) 82-72 in the Pepin Gym. The Panthers return to action next weekend at Bates and Tufts.
The game was back and forth early, with Middlebury earning a seven-point lead at 25-18 with 5:36 remaining in the first half. Leading by five at the intermission, the Panthers went on an 8-0 run over a 1:32 span at the 17:50 mark of the second half to extend their lead to 48-37. The lead grew to as many as 14 in the second half, with Wesleyan cutting it to seven with 38 seconds left to play. Middlebury connected on just seven of 12 free throws in the final 1:21, and 27 of 47 in the game, but that was enough as they held on for the win.
Middlebury shot well from the floor, connecting on 52 percent of its shots on the afternoon. Ben Rudin led the team with 15 points, Andrew Harris scored 14, Sam Daly netted 12, while Aaron Smith scored 11 and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
Nick Pelletier paced Wesleyan with 21 points and seven boards, while Blake Curry added 16 points and six rebounds.