Rensselaer (4-1) went on a decisive 8-0 run late in the game as the Red Hawks spoiled Middlebury's home-opener with a 69-64 win over the Panthers in Pepin Gym. The Panthers shot just 9 of 28 (.321) from the free throw line as they move to 2-3 on the season.
Middlebury jumped out to a 10-2 lead early, holding Rensselaer scoreless for the game's first 4:53 of play. The Red Hawks battled back to tie the game at 24 on a hoop from Sam Simmons with 5:03 remaining in the first half. Rensselaer later took its first lead of the game before back-to-back three's from Middlebury's Andrew Harris gave the Panthers a 33-28 lead at the halftime break.
The game remained tight until late in the game when the Red Hawk's spurt gave them some breathing room as Ricky Philatre hit a pair of shots during the decisive run. Middlebury battled back and cut the lead to four on a hoop from Ben Rudin with 35 seconds remaining, but that's as close as they'd come.
Harris led the Panthers with a game-high 21 points, including four three's, while Aaron Smith scored 11 and grabbed six boards. Ben Rudin scored 10 points with four assists, while Evan Thompson had eight points and 10 rebounds.
Simmons paced Rensselaer with 13, Neal Wesson added 11 with seven rebounds and five assists, while Kris Kowalczyk netted 10.