Middlebury Falls at Hamilton on Last-Second Basket

Matt Daley finished with 12 points and seven rebounds on Saturday. (photo courtesy of Will Costello)
Matt Daley finished with 12 points and seven rebounds on Saturday. (photo courtesy of Will Costello)

The Middlebury men's basketball team saw its four-game winning streak come to an end as Hamilton scored with 0.8 seconds left in regulation to post a 64-62 win on Saturday in Scott Field House. Andrew Groll made the deciding basket from inside the paint to lift the Continentals. The Panthers (11-8, 4-2) look to bounce back on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. when they visit Keene State, while the Continentals (10-9, 1-5) host Union on Monday at 8:00 p.m.

The Continentals jumped out to an early 6-3 lead before Middlebury grabbed the advantage with an 11-0 run. Matt St. Amour, Matt Daley, Jake Brown and Adisa Majors all made layups and Hilal Dahleh capped the spurt with a three-pointer for a 14-6 cushion.

The Panthers' lead fluctuated between four and 11 points the rest of the half. A trifecta by Liam Naughton gave Middlebury a 37-26 advantage with 1:59 to go in the period. The Panthers led 39-32 at the break.

Middlebury opened the second half with a 10-2 run and took its largest lead of the afternoon of 15 points (49-34) with 16:33 left. Daley scored five of the Panthers' 10 points during the run.

The Continentals responded with an 18-5 spurt and clawed back to within two points at 54-52 with 11:06 remaining. Joe Pucci scored six points during the run and Michael Grassey capped it with a three-pointer. Middlebury's slim lead moved between two and four points for the next six-plus minutes, until Pucci tied the score at 62-62 on a jumper with 4:28 to go.

The teams were stuck on that score until Groll's last-second basket, which was also Hamilton's first lead since the first four minutes of the game. During the four-plus minute scoreless stretch near the end, the Panthers missed five shots and committed two turnovers. The Continentals were also 0-5 from the field with a pair of miscues.

St. Amour paced Middlebury with 14 points. Daley added 12 points and Majors contributed eight points, nine rebounds and three steals. Jack Daly handed out six assists and Brown was credited with five.

Groll recorded his fifth double-double this season with a game-high 18 points and 14 rebounds. Hoffmann finished with nine points, seven rebounds and three steals, while Pucci added 11 points off the bench.