MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – The #5 Middlebury men's basketball team fell 89-82 to visiting #12 Colby on Friday evening in Pepin Gymnasium. The loss was just the second for the Panthers (15-2, 1-2), while the Mules improve to 14-0 with an unblemished 3-0 NESCAC mark. Middlebury is back in action on Saturday when it hosts Bowdoin at 3:00 p.m., while Colby heads to Williams.
Colby jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the game's first 2:08 of play, capped by a layup from Alex Dorion. Middlebury chipped away at the deficit, cutting the margin to 23-22 with 8:56 on the clock. The Mules answered with an 8-0 run with six points from Sam Jefferson, extending the advantage to 37-27. The Panthers closed out the half with a 7-2 spurt, cutting the deficit to five (39-34).
Trailing 47-37, Middlebury utilized a 6-0 burst, sparked by a three from Max Bosco, to cut the deficit to four (47-43) with 15:11 remaining. Colby maintained its lead, extending it to 11 (67-56) after a 7-0 spurt with 9:28 left to play. The Panthers answered with a 15-2 run sparked by five points apiece from Perry DeLorenzo and Jack Farrell to take their first lead of the game (71-69) with 5:52 remaining. Later in the half, back-to-back threes put the Mules on top, 82-72 with 1:56 showing on the clock. Middlebury was forced to foul late, but the Mules converted 7-8 from the charity stripe to secure the 89-82 victory.
Dorion led all players with 23 points, while Jefferson had 22. Will King grabbed nine boards and dished out seven assists, while Matt Hanna netted 19, converting 7-7 free throws.
Both teams were hot from the floor, as the Panthers shot 46.5% and Colby converted 50% of it's shots.