The 13th-ranked Middlebury men's basketball team utilized a 12-2 run spanning 2:19 of the second half en route to a 75-64 home victory over Wentworth on Saturday. Matt Folger became the 24th Panther in program history to reach 1,000 career points in the victory. Middlebury (2-0) returns to action on Tuesday with a 7:00 p.m. contest at Keene State, while the Leopards (3-1) hosts Rivier on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.
Trailing 8-7 nearly four minutes into the first half, the Panthers mustered an 8-2 spurt covering 2:50 of action, capped on a three-point field goal from Folger with 13:25 left. The Leopards answered with five-straight points, knotting the contest at 15-15 on a layup by Jack Schaake. The Panthers maintained small advantages over the ensuing minutes, regaining that five-point lead (27-22) on a jumper from Griffin Kornaker with 4:09 left. Wentworth put together a 7-0 run over the next 2:53, taking a 29-27 edge on a three by Conor Rubenskas at the 1:16 mark, and took a 31-29 advantage into the halftime break on a layup from Tommy Dooling.
Out of the intermission, Folger recorded his 1,000th-career point on a layup with 17:54 showing on the clock, tying the contest at 31-31. Wentworth went on a 12-6 run, securing its largest lead of the contest (43-37) on a basket from Dooling with 12:55 remaining. Middlebury chipped away at the deficit, regaining the lead for good (49-48) on a pair of free throws by Max Bosco at the 8:27 mark.
Ahead 52-50, the Panthers put together the decisive 12-2 run, highlighted by a pair of threes from Folger, for a 64-52 lead with 3:48 remaining. The Leopards sliced the deficit to seven on three occasions, with the final one coming at 69-62 with 58 ticks left on two charity tosses by Kyle Henseler. Middlebury knocked down 4-4 free throws, sandwiched around a fast-break dunk by Alex Sobel for the final 75-64 score.
Folger led five Panthers in double figures with 19 points to go along with a game-best 12 rebounds. Kornaker and Jack Farrell added 13 points apiece, while Sobel and Bosco each chipped in with 11. Farrell pulled down eight boards and had three steals, Kornaker handed out a game-high six assists, while Sobel tallied three blocked shots.
Trey Carrier paced the Leopards with 16 points and eight boards, while Schaake had 11 points and Dooling chipped in with 10. Stephen Azums finished with six points and six rebounds for Wentworth.