Big Second Half Leads No. 5 Panthers Past Endicott

Jack Farrell scored a career-high 31 points in Sunday's win.
Jack Farrell scored a career-high 31 points in Sunday's win.

Fifth-ranked Middlebury outscored Endicott 54-28 in Sunday's second half, including a 25-8 stretch to start the frame and erased a six-point halftime deficit for a 98-78 victory over the Gulls (3-3). Middlebury (7-0), who has played its last five games on the road, returns to action on Friday with a 5:00 p.m. home tipoff against New England College.

The host Gulls grabbed an 11-4 lead with 16:19 left on a three-point field goal by Matt McDevitt. The Panthers slowly chipped away at the deficit, taking a 33-32 edge on a three-point play by Jack Farrell with 6:28 left before halftime. Max Bosco gave Middlebury a 41-40 lead with 2:44 remaining, before Endicott ripped off a 10-3 spurt to end the frame, capped on a layup from Billy Arsenault in the final seconds for a 50-44 lead at the break.

A pair of free throws by Keith Brown on Endicott's initial possession of the second half pushed the Gulls lead to 52-44. Middlebury put together its decisive stretch, outscoring the hosts 25-8 over a span of 7:56, for a 69-60 advantage on a Tommy Eastman layup with 11:54 left. Endicott pulled to within 73-69 on a layup from Jalen Echevarria at the 8:33 mark, but the Panthers mustered an 11-0 run covering 4:54 for an 84-69 lead on a three by Farrell. The Panther lead grew to as many as 24 (98-74) on a three from Nash Goldman, as Middlebury eased to the double-digit victory.

Farrell poured in a career-high 31 points, including 17 in the second half, to go along with seven rebounds, four assists and four steals. Griffin Kornaker, Bosco and Eastman each netted 14 points, while Eastman pulled down a game-best 13 rebounds for his second-straight double-double. Perry DeLorenzo chipped in with 12 points on a perfect 4-4 from beyond the three-point line. Ryan Cahill had eight boards in the victory, while Alex Sobel collected six caroms.

Brown led the hosts with 19 points and eight rebounds to go along with four assists. McDevitt added 14 points, while Arsenault chipped in with 13 and four helpers. Echevarria and Louis Ellis each had 10 points for Endicott.

Middlebury shot 52.9 percent (37-70) from the floor, including 56.8 percent (21-37) in the second half during the win. The Panthers limited the Gulls to 35.8 percent (24-67) shooting and 30 percent (6-30) after the halftime break. The Panthers held a decided 10-2 advantage in fastbreak points and a 32-18 edge in bench points.