Balanced Attack Leads Middlebury Past Southern Vermont, 92-74

Matt St. Amour posted a near triple-double of 24 points, a career-high 12 rebounds and seven assists on Monday. (photo courtesy of Will Costello)
Matt St. Amour posted a near triple-double of 24 points, a career-high 12 rebounds and seven assists on Monday. (photo courtesy of Will Costello)

The Middlebury men's basketball team erupted for 55 points in the first half as the Panthers snapped Southern Vermont's seven-game winning streak with a 92-74 victory on Monday in Pepin Gymnasium. The hosts had plenty of balance in the win, as four players reached double figures in scoring, while three posted double-doubles. The Panthers (6-6) are on the road this Friday with a 7:00 p.m. tip-off at Wesleyan, while the Mountaineers (8-3) are home on Saturday, hosting Mitchell at 3:00 p.m.

The game was close for the opening 6:12 with the Mountaineers holding a 15-11 lead after a free throw from Nate Goldsmith.

The Panthers gained control with a 17-1 run over span of 4:10. Eric McCord started the run with a basket from inside the paint, while the next time down the floor, Hilal Dahleh sank a three-pointer. Dahleh's basket from long range gave the hosts their first lead (16-15) of the game with 7:14 expired. The run ended on a three-point basket by Matt St. Amour, as Middlebury pushed the difference to 28-18.  

That lead continued to grow for the Panthers, grabbing their biggest advantage of the period at 53-29 with 1:18 on the clock when St. Amour nailed his fifth three-pointer of the half. Middlebury continued its momentum, taking a 55-32 edge into the break. In the opening 20 minutes of play, the Panthers were hot from three-point range, knocking down 66.7 percent (8-12) of their attempts.

In the second half, Southern Vermont got as close as 14 points on several occasions, with the last of those coming at 2:57 mark. The Mountaineers cut Middlebury's lead to 86-72 on a basket by Goldsmith.

The Panthers secured the win in the final minutes scoring six of the game's final eight points.

Middlebury had three players record double-doubles as St. Amour, Zach Baines and Jack Daly each accomplished that feat. St. Amour scored 24 points and snared a career-high 12 rebounds, adding seven assists. Baines had career bests in both points and rebounds as the forward had 11 each to go along with a pair of blocked shots. Daly scored 15 points and dished out a career-high 10 assists, while Matt Daley was the fourth Middlebury player to score in double figures with 16.

As a team, the Panthers cashed in on 10-18 from beyond the arc for 55.6% and held the Mountaineers to just 6-22 (27.3%) from three-point range.

For Southern Vermont, DeShawn Hamlet led the way with 20 points, while Casey Hall posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Goldsmith finished with 12 points and Rayshawn Taylor added 10.