#15 Middlebury Pulls Away From Green Mountain

Nick Tarantino had 10 points and eight rebounds in just 17 minutes during Tuesday's victory.
Nick Tarantino had 10 points and eight rebounds in just 17 minutes during Tuesday's victory.

Middlebury recorded a 22-5 run over a span of 4:16 in the early stages of the second half on its way to a 104-75 victory Tuesday over Green Mountain. The 15th-ranked Panthers (13-2) return to NESCAC action on Sunday when they travel to Williams at 2:00 p.m., while the Eagles (7-6) host Maine Maritime on Friday at 5:30 p.m.

Middlebury grabbed a 14-10 lead on a three-point field goal from Matt St. Amour with 15:24 left in the opening half. The Eagles rattled off a 12-0 spurt over the ensuing 4:29 of play, capped off by a layup from Kenneth Parker, for a 22-14 advantage at the 10:55 mark. Parker and Javier Lurgis each had five points during the run.

After a jumper by Middlebury's Matt Folger cut the lead to six, Green Mountain secured its largest lead of the game of nine (25-16) on a three from Patrick Rittmon with 9:09 showing on the clock. The Panthers chipped away at the deficit, tying the score at 37-37 on a layup by Eric McCord with 48 seconds left in the half. On the ensuing possession, a pair of free throw makes by Middlebury's Perry DeLorenzo gave the hosts the lead for good at 39-37, as Green Mountain's Matt D'Arcy split a two charity tosses giving Middlebury a one-point edge headed into halftime, 39-38.

Out of the break, the Panther edge hovered between three and seven points over the early minutes, as a three from Green Mountain's Dakota Dodson brought the visitors to within four (47-43) with 17:08 left. The Panthers exploded over the next four minutes of action, rattling off the 22-5 run for a 69-48 lead at the 12:52 mark. St. Amour fueled the outburst with nine points on a trio of threes, while Jack Daly added six.

The lead slowly increased to as many as 32 (104-72) on a fastbreak layup by DeLorenzo with 1:01 remaining before Diante Warner knocked down a three for the final margin.

St. Amour led six Panthers in double figures with 24 points, including 19 in the second half, on 8-14 shooting and 6-11 from behind the arc with five rebounds and four assists. With his six made threes, he moved into second place on the Panther career list for makes with 190, surpassing Jake Wolfin's '13 total of 188. McCord netted 16 points with seven boards on 7-11 shooting, while Adisa Majors had 11 points.

Daly finished with 12 points on 4-5 shooting to go along with five rebounds and four assists. Brown dished out a season-best 12 assists, while DeLorenzo and Nick Tarantino each added 10 points. Tarantino and Folger tied for team-high honors with eight rebounds apiece.

Rittmon paced Green Mountain with 19 points, including six threes, Lurgis scored 13, while Parker and Dodson both chipped in with 11. Pierce Weatherspoon was also in double figures for the Eagles with 10 points, yanking down a team-high seven rebounds.

Middlebury shot 50 percent from the floor (39-78), going 10-17 (58.8%) from behind the arc in the second half. The Panthers held a 50-33 rebounding advantage, and earned assists on 31 of its 39 field goals, while committing just six turnovers. The hosts held a decided edge in points in the paint (50-28) and bench points (47-18).