The Middlebury men's basketball team scored the game's first seven points and utilized a 10-0 run in the first 8:45 of play en route to a 95-48 road victory against Johnson State. The Panthers defeated the Badgers for the second time in the last five days, as Middlebury (3-4) cruised past Johnson State (0-6) by a 103-63 count during the UR/Holiday Inn Tournament on Sunday. The Panthers complete a stretch of their first eight games away from Pepin Gymnasium to open the season on Saturday when they travel to Skidmore for a 4:00 p.m. tipoff.
The Panthers, who never trailed in the game, quickly scored the game's first seven points on layups by Connor Huff and Matt Daley as well as a three-point field goal from Matt St. Amour. The Badgers chipped away and cut the deficit to three at 12-9 via a three from Rahim Bunch at the 14:14 mark, but the visitors rattled off a 10-0 run spanning the next 2:59 on three-pointers by Jack Daly and Liam Naughton as well as layups from Nick Tarantino and Eric McCord.
Johnson State put together a 7-2 spurt over the next 2:41 on a three-point field goal from Benjamin Holl, a jumper by Derek Ashley and a layup by Bunch, cutting the Panther lead to eight (24-16) with 8:34 remaining in the opening half. Over the next 3:03, Middlebury scored nine of the game's next 12 points, capped off on a layup by St. Amour at 5:31 for a 33-19 advantage. The Panther lead continued to grow as Middlebury outscored the Badgers by 12-2 over the remainder of the half, including a layup by Daly with eight second left for a 45-21 halftime edge.
The Panthers saw nine different players score in the first half and shot 20-34 from the field for just under 59 percent, while Johnson State was held to just 30 percent on 9-30 attempts and 3-12 (25%) from beyond the arc.
Out of the half, Middlebury tallied 10 of the first 16 points of the stanza over the opening 3:10 capped off by a three-pointer from St. Amour and held a 28-point bulge at 55-27. The Badgers never threatened again in the second half and cruised to the victory.
Middlebury featured a balanced attack that had 13 players find the scoring column, led by St. Amour's 19 points on 7-10 shooting and 5-7 from beyond the arc in just 19 minutes. McCord finished with a season-best 10 points on 5-8 shooting and added five rebounds off the bench, while Daly chipped in with nine points on a perfect 4-4 shooting to go along with six rebounds and a team-high six assists.
Daley added eight points and a team-best eight rebounds, as the Panthers outrebounded Johnson State by a 49-16 count. Huff finished with eight points, six rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.
As a team, Middlebury knocked down a season-best 66.2 percent of its shots from the floor (43-65) and outscored Johnson State by a 66-24 count in the paint. Defensively, the Panthers limited the Badgers to just 32.8 percent from the field for the game (19-58) and 22.7% from beyond the arc (5-22).
Bunch led Johnson State with 14 points going 6-11 from the floor along with a game-best four steals, while Ashley chipped in with 10 points.