Fast Start Sparks No. 13 Middlebury Past SUNY Canton

Jack Farrell led the Panthers with 17 points in Thursday's 89-68 win at SUNY Canton.
Jack Farrell led the Panthers with 17 points in Thursday's 89-68 win at SUNY Canton.

The 13th-ranked Middlebury men's basketball team netted 19 of the game's first 23 points, as the Panthers never trailed in an 89-68 road victory at SUNY Canton (3-3) on Thursday. Middlebury (4-0) returns to the court on Saturday with a 4:00 p.m. tip-off at Skidmore.

Ryan Cahill got off to a blistering start for the visitors, scoring 12 points in the initial 4:05 of the contest. Cahill knocked down three treys in that spurt and added a conventional three-point play for a 17-4 cushion. Max Bosco followed with a layup for Middlebury to extend the margin to 19-4. The Kangaroos crept back to within single digits (23-14) with a modest 10-4 run, capped by a three-pointer from Juztin Chambers-Phillips.

The Panthers pulled away with a 17-0 run that covered more than five minutes, extending the difference to 42-16 with 4:30 left before the half. Middlebury's depth showed through as five different players scored during that time, with Tommy Eastman leading the charge with a pair of buckets from behind the three-point arc. Perry DeLorenzo and Canton's Joseph Werner exchanged baskets in the final 1:18, as the Panthers held a 50-25 lead at the break.

Middlebury claimed its biggest lead of the contest (55-27) in the opening minutes of the second frame, when Bosco sank a pair of free throws and Griffin Kornaker made a layup. The Kangaroos countered with eight-straight points, but a jumper by Eastman and a steal followed by a three-pointer by DeLorenzo on consecutive possession pushed the margin to 65-43 with 13:38 to play.

The hosts made another push behind 7-1 forward Andrew Fitch. He netted six points from in the paint, followed by two foul shots from George Nehma, but Eastman tallied from in the lane to end the run.

SUNY Canton narrowed the difference to 13 points (69-56) in the final 10 minutes, but that was as close as the Kangaroos would get as the Panthers maintained a safe lead the rest of the way for the 89-68 final.

Jack Farrell paced four Middlebury players in double figures, finishing with 17 points. Cahill netted a career-high 15 points with a team-best six rebounds, while Bosco chipped in with 13 points and Eastman had 12. Kornaker contributed with eight points and a game-high seven assists.

Fitch led the hosts with 16 points on 7-9 shooting from the floor to go along with eight boards. Quran DuBois added 13 points, while Werner scored 10.

Middlebury shot an even 50 percent (36-72) from the floor and limited the Kangaroos to 40.3 percent (27-67), but Canton held a 43-33 edge on the glass.