Middlebury handed Hamilton its first loss of the season as the Panthers picked up an impressive 86-84 road win.
Middlebury trailed 44-35 at the half, but a three-point basket by Wil Hyatt with 12:12 left in the second half gave the Panthers a 58-57 lead -- their first since the score was 5-4.
The lead traded hands several times until Smith put Middlebury in front for good at 74-72 on a lay-up with 4:13 remaining. Andrew Harris gave the Panthers a five-point cushion at 81-76 on a three-pointer with 2:01 left. A three by Simpson pulled the Continentals within one at 85-84 with six ticks remaining. Ben Rudin made one free throw and missed the second with five seconds left. Nick Jones '07 grabbed the rebound for Hamilton and got the ball to Ramunas Rozgys '09 in the frontcourt, but Rudin knocked the ball away as time ran out.
The Continentals led by as many as 17 points three times in the first half. Hamilton shot 69 percent (20-29) from the floor in the first 20 minutes. Middlebury shot 32.1 percent (9-28) from the field, but made 14 of 17 free throws to stay within striking distance at the break.
Harris led the balanced attack with 15 points, while Rudin added 14 to go along with 10 assists and seven rebounds. Aaron Smith had 13 points and eight rebounds, Chris Dowd scored 13, while Mike Walsh added 11 points and seven rebounds.