Dylan Sinnickson matched a career-high with 27 points to lead Middlebury (16-6) past Lyndon State (8-13) via an 88-74 score in a non-league contest in Pepin Gym that was rescheduled from late January. The Panthers host their two final regular season games later this week as Trinity visits on Friday evening and Amherst stops by on Sunday afternoon to close out the NESCAC schedule. Lyndon returns home to host a pair of games this weekend as well, hosting Husson on Friday and Maine Maritime on Saturday.
The visitors got out to an early 7-1 lead as David Johnson nailed a three, followed by four points from Rontrez Purcell. Middlebury's Matt St. Amour made it a 7-4 deficit on a three-pointer at 15:58 before Sinnickson scored the next eight points. The game's leading scorer sandwiched a lay-up between three-pointers, giving the Panthers a 12-7 lead at 13:55.
The advantage grew to 27-20 on a traditional three-point play by Adisa Majors at 6:32, before Lyndon State went on a 13-3 run. Avery King hit a three-pointer during the spurt to make it a one-point deficit before baskets by Eric Vargas and Robert Rouelle gave the Hornets a 33-30 lead with just over four minutes to play, and later took a 43-39 lead into the break.
St. Amour gave Middlebury an early lead in the second half, scoring the first six points of the frame. He opened with a traditional three-point play and a downtown trifecta at 18:50, setting the score at 45-43 in favor of the Panthers. King got the lead right back for Lyndon State with another triple before Middlebury put together a 12-4 run, highlighted by eight points from Sinnickson, including a lay-up at 14:02, giving the hosts a seven-point edge, 57-50.
The Hornets battled back, cutting the Panther lead to 61-60 on a three-pointer by Johnson at 10:07, as he later tied the game at 63-63 on a lay-up at 7:24. Sinnickson countered with a jumper as the Panthers maintained a slim edge over the next four minutes before Jake Brown sank a basket and set up a dunk for Sinnickson at 2:57, lifting Middlebury to a double-digit bulge at 77-67.
The lead grew to 13 points after a St. Amour free throw at 1:32 and remained in double digits down the stretch as the Panthers sank their final six free throw attempts.
Sinnickson finished with a game-best 27 points and 11 rebounds, while St. Amour added 19 points on 5-6 shooting, including 3-4 from behind the arc. Matt Daley nabbed 11 rebounds while scoring 11 points, as Brown chipped in eight points and dished out eight assists.
Johnson finished with a team-high 21 points on 7-8 shooting from the floor, while King added 18, including a trio of three-pointers. Purcell finished with 16 points, while Jose Berroa collected a team-high eight caroms.
Middlebury out-rebounded Lyndon State by a 50-29 count and had a decisive advantage from the line, making 29-36 free throw attempts compared to 11-12 for the Hornets.