With the game tied 74-74 with 5:12 left, Williams went on a 12-5 run to secure the victory 86-79 Saturday afternoon at Pepin Gym. The Panthers' record drops to 12-6 and 2-3 in the NESCAC, while Williams improves to 10-9 and 3-2 in conference play. Middlebury goes on the road to face in-state foe Norwich on Tuesday before hosting a pair of NESCAC games on the weekend.
There were few points scored early on, although both teams raced up and down the court at a furious pace. Middlebury held a slim advantage during the early part of the half before Williams' Chris Rose hit one of his game-high six three-pointers to tie the game at 19 apiece with just over 10 minutes remaining. The Ephs took a 30-25 lead later in the half before the Panthers went on a 20-9 run in the final 7:26 of the half. Middlebury's Andrew Harris collected nine of his team-high 15 points during the run as the Panthers took a 45-39 lead into halftime.
In the second half, the Panther lead grew to 49-41 before the Ephs tied it again at 54 with 13:35 left. Middlebury responded with a 9-2 run, taking the lead 63-56 with under 11 minutes left. With 9:24 remaining, Rose started an 11-2 Ephs comeback as he nailed another three-pointer. Williams took their first lead of the half 71-69 with just under seven minutes left, only to see Middlebury tie it on a Tim Edwards lay-up with 6:33 remaining. The decisive 12-5 run by the Ephs saw Rose, Chris Shalvoy and Blake Schultz each score four points apiece, while the Panthers were just 2 of 11 from the field during the same span as the Ephs pulled away to win 86-79.
Middlebury was led by Harris' 15 points as Evan Thompson scored 11 and collected a game-high nine rebounds. Rose led Williams with 30 points and eight rebounds, while Shalvoy added 21 for the Ephs.