Middlebury took advantage of 12-2 and 14-2 runs during Tuesday's second half, turning a tight game into a 95-75 victory at Widener. The contest was the first meeting between the two programs. The Panthers (11-4) return to action on Friday with a 7:00 p.m. NESCAC game at Bates.
Trailing 10-9 in the opening half, Widener (7-7) rattled off a 10-2 run over a span of 3:46, capped by a three-point field goal from Connor Laverty, for a 19-12 lead with 13:44 remaining. Behind 30-25 with 4:55 showing on the clock, Middlebury went on an 11-0 run to end the half, with five points from Max Bosco, for a 36-30 edge.
Out of the break, the visitors utilized a 12-2 run over a span 2:38 for a 54-39 lead on two free throws from Matt Folger. After a three by Laverty cut the Panther edge to 54-44, Middlebury put together a 14-2 spurt for a 68-46 advantage on a basket from Joey Leighton with 10:01 left. The lead hovered in double digits over the remainder of the contest, growing to as many as 26 (89-63) on a layup by Thomas Zodda with 3:23 showing on the clock. Widener never threatened over the final minutes, as Middlebury eased to the 20-point victory.
Bosco led three Panthers in double figures with a career-high 27 points, while Folger added 20 points on 8-11 shooting from the floor to go along with eight rebounds and four blocked shots. Leighton tallied 12 points, Eric McCord pulled down 15 rebounds in addition to seven points and a pair of blocks, while Griffin Kornaker handed out six assists.
Laverty paced the hosts with 21 points, while Elijah Boyd had 12 points and three steals. Ryan McMahon collected a team-best five rebounds.
Middlebury held a 54-32 rebounding advantage and a 52-38 edge in points in the paint, making 62.2 percent of its shots (23-37) from the floor in the second half.