Men's Basketball Cruises Past New Paltz in Home Opener

Matt St. Amour scored a game-high 21 points, making 5-10 from long range.
Matt St. Amour scored a game-high 21 points, making 5-10 from long range.

Middlebury went on a 20-0 run midway through the first half, on its way to a 94-62 victory over SUNY New Paltz (0-4) in the team's home opener in Pepin Gym. The 24th-ranked Panthers (3-0) return to action on Sunday when they host Endicott at 2:00 p.m., while the Hawks visit Springfield next Tuesday.

Middlebury jumped out to a 14-2 lead including a two and a three from Jack Daly. Leading 29-16 with 10:20 remaining in the first half, the Panthers went on the decisive run, holding a 49-16 lead at the 6:58 mark. Zach Baines scored six points during the outburst, with four points and three assists from Jake Brown. A three from Bryan Jones with 1:23 left gave Middlebury its largest lead of the half at 54-19. The Panthers took a 56-24 advantage into the locker room.

The advantage slowly increased in the second half, including a 70-30 lead on a bucket from Adisa Majors with 14:43 remaining. The Panthers led by a game-high 44 points on a three-point play from Matt St. Amour with 12:08 left on the clock. The Hawks closed the gap to 32 (94-62) on the final shot of the game from Nick Arthur as time was expiring.

St. Amour led all scorers with 27 points on 6-10 shooting from behind the arc with five assists in just 22 minutes. Baines netted 12 points with six boards on 6-7 shooting from the floor, while Eric McCord was 6-8 for 12 points with eight rebounds. Majors finished with 11 points on 4-5 shooting, Brown dished out nine assists, while Nick Tarantino pulled down nine boards in the win.

Dylan Balducci paced New Paltz with 12 points, Arthur scored 10, while Andrew Seniuk chipped in with eight.

Middlebury shot 52.2 percent from the floor, going 9-16 (.563) from behind the arc in the first half. The Panthers held a 45-33 rebounding advantage, and earned assists on 26 of its 36 field goals.