Late Free Throws Lifts Middlebury Past Hamilton

Max Bosco scored 13 points in the win and made two clutch free throws late in the game.
Max Bosco scored 13 points in the win and made two clutch free throws late in the game.

Max Bosco converted two free throws with six seconds remaining, lifting third-ranked Middlebury (14-1, 1-1) to a 77-76 NESCAC win at Hamilton (11-3, 1-1) on Saturday afternoon. The Panthers return to action on Tuesday when they host Albertus Magnus at 5:00 p.m.

Middlebury took a 13-8 lead at the 15:20 mark on a three pointer from Ryan Cahill. With the game later tied at 16-16, Griffin Kornaker connected from downtown to put his team up 19-16 with 10:30 on the clock. The Panthers trailed 26-24 when threes from Tommy Eastman and Jack Farrell gave them a 30-26 advantage with 5:30 to play in the first half. Hamilton cut into the lead, and eventually led 43-40 heading into the intermission.     

The back and forth second half was highly contested with neither team able to pull away. With the game tied a 64-64, the Panthers scored the game's next seven points to go up 71-64 with 6:05 remaining. The spark consisted of a three from Matt Folger, an Eastman layup and a dunk from Cahill. The Continentals chipped away at the deficit, eventually leading by one (76-75) with 21 seconds remaining. The Panthers were fouled late, with Bosco converting a pair from the charity strip sandwiched around a timeout to put the visitors up 77-76. Hamilton had a last-second shot to win the game, but the shot did not connect.

Eastman finished with a career-high 23 points to go along with 12 rebounds and three blocks for his fourth double-double of the season. Farrell scored 17, Bosco added 13, while Kornacker finished with eight points and five assists.

Kena Gilmour led Hamilton with 16 points, Eric Anderson added 13 points and eight rebounds, while Conner Rood grabbed 11 boards.