A 14-0 run over a span of 4:36 in the second half propelled Middlebury to an 81-58 victory on Saturday over Clarks Summit (1-9) in the consolation game of the Washington & Lee Holiday Tournament in Virginia. The second-ranked Panthers (7-1) return to action on Tuesday when they host #15 Swarthmore at 6:00 p.m.
Middlebury's Jack Daly (36 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists, seven steals) earned a spot on the all-tournament team for his efforts during the two games.
In the opening half, Middlebury moved out to a 9-2 lead, capped off by a jumper from Matt Folger with 16:18 left. The Defenders slowly chipped away at the deficit, cutting it to just a pair at 21-19 on a bucket from Will Smoot with 11:45 showing on the clock. The Panthers responded with a 6-0 spurt, finished on a basket by Adisa Majors just over the halfway point of the first stanza. Clarks Summit hung around over the next few minutes of action, slicing the Middlebury lead to five (42-37) on a three-point field goal with 1:25 remaining. The Panthers scored the final six points of the half on threes by Folger and Joey Leighton for a 48-37 halftime bulge.
In the first half, nine different Panthers found the scoring column led by 10 from Daly. The Middlebury defense forced 13 miscues by Clarks Summit, turning those mistakes into 15 points.
Out of the intermission, a basket by Reed Plantz pulled the Defenders to within nine on their first possession. The Panthers quickly put together a 7-0 spurt, completed with an old-fashioned three-point play from Jack Farrell, for a 55-39 lead with 17:26 remaining. Clarks Summit answered with a 7-0 run of its own over the ensuing 1:22 of action, cutting the deficit to nine (55-46) on a jumper from Plantz.
The Panthers maintained between a nine and 12-point lead over the next four-plus minutes of play. Up by 10 at 60-50 with 12:01 left, Middlebury rattled off the decisive run, pushing its lead to 24 (74-50) on a layup by Griffin Kornaker with 7:25 left. Clarks Summit never got closer than 20 as the Panthers cruised to the win.
Daly paced 11 Panthers in the scoring column with 16 points to go along with eight rebounds and six assists. Majors had nine points and five rebounds off the bench in 15 minutes, while Folger, Farrell and Hilal Dahleh each contributed eight points, respectively. Folger tallied eight rebounds for the Panthers, while Eric McCord had six points and eight boards off the bench.
John McCloskey led three Defenders in double figures with 19 points, including five threes, to go along with a team-best nine rebounds. Plantz and Preston Huckaby both ended their afternoons with 10 points apiece. McCloskey and Brion Elliot each handed out four assists.
Middlebury held a decisive advantage in rebounding (50-36), bench scoring (34-13), points in the paint (40-20) and points off turnovers (24-10) in the contest.