Middlebury hung tough with second-ranked Amherst but fell short as they saw their nine-game winning streak come to an end with a 79-73 loss in NESCAC play. The Panthers return to action tomorrow when they take on Trinity.
Amherst took a 14-8 lead early, only to have Middlebury answer and cut the lead to 24-23 with 5:38 left in the first half. The lead grew to nine before the Jeffs took a 34-29 lead into the locker room.
Amherst extended its lead to 10 with 15:03 remaining, but Middlebury would not go away as they battled back to trail 60-59 with 8:12 remaining. The Jeffs pulled ahead before a three from Andrew Harris cut the lead to one with 4:53 left to play. Dan Wheeler hit a two and three to give Amherst a six-point lead as they held on for the 79-73 win.
Evan Thompson led Middlebury with 19, while Ben Rudin scored 17 with seven rebounds and six assists. Harris added 11 points in the game, while Aaron Smith scored 10 with six boards.