#4 Middlebury Wins Naismith Classic

Alex Sobel earned tournament MVP honors.
Alex Sobel earned tournament MVP honors.

Middlebury took home the title at the Hampton Inn/West Springfield Naismith Classic on Saturday, defeating the host school by a score of 74-71 in Blake Arena. The fourth-ranked Panthers (12-0) return to action on Tuesday night when they host Plattsburgh at 7:30 p.m.

Springfield slowly built a first-half lead, extending it to 24-12 after a 10-0 run that concluded at the 10:33 mark. The advantage grew to as many as 15 (29-14), before an 11-0 burst by Middlebury made it a 29-25 game at the 5:11 mark.  Ryan Cahill netted a two and a three during the run. The lead grew to 10 before the Panthers closed the first half on a 12-3 run, making it a 38-37 deficit at the break.

The Pride extended their lead early in the half, before Middlebury scored nine-straight points to go up 48-46 with 15:04 remaining. Threes by Wil Ingram and Cahill sparked the outburst. The game remained tight with a slim Panther advantage, before a quick 5-0 burst put the visitors on top 73-63 with 44 seconds remaining. Springfield battled back, making it a two-point game (73-71) with 14 seconds remaining on a three from Heath Post. A foul and a missed free throw gave the hosts a chance to tie or win late, but the shot would not fall.

Max Bosco led a balanced attack with 14 points, Alex Sobel recorded 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Matt Folger finished with 11. Jack Farrell and Cahill each chipped in with 10. With his 11 points, Folger moves up to 14th place on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,092 points, surpassing Jake Wolfin '13 and Greg Poulos '98. Sobel was deemed the tournament MVP and was named to the all-tournament team along with Folger.

Collin Lindsay led all scorers with 21 points, Post finished with 19 points and 12 boards, while Ross Ross scored 10 (20.8 points below his average) and grabbed 10 rebounds.