Third-ranked Middlebury came up short in its first NESCAC game of the season, falling 81-69 at #15 Amherst (11-3, 1-0) on Friday night. The Panthers (13-1, 0-1) return to action with a 3:00 p.m. game at Hamilton on Saturday.
The see-saw first half saw the game tied for the fourth time (17-17) at the 11:38 mark when Perry DeLorenzo knocked down a three. Amherst went up by five (24-19) with 9:06 remaining, before a 9-3 spurt by the visitors gave them a 28-27 lead on a three pointer from Jack Farrell with 7:14 on the clock. The contest was later tied for the sixth time before the Mammoths eventually entered the halftime break with a 43-40 lead.
Amherst trailed 54-52 at the 11:30 mark of the second half before a 13-0 run put them up 65-54 with 8:17 left to play. The lead hovered around double digits, with the Panthers cutting the margin to 76-69 with 2:49 left to play. That's as close as the visitors would come as Amherst came away with the 81-69 victory.
Garrett Day led all scorers with 21 points, while Eric Sellew added 14 points and 13 boards for Amherst.
Amherst converted 47.8 percent of its shots from the floor and held a 47-33 rebounding edge. Middlebury was one of only four unbeaten teams in Division III entering the game, snapping a 13-game winning streak to start the season.