The Middlebury men's basketball team saw its season come to an end in the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a hard-fought 84-81 loss at #18 SUNY Brockport (26-3). The 19th-ranked Panthers finish their season with a record of 21-6, while the Soaring Eagles will play Tufts in a round of 16 game next weekend.
Trailing 9-8, Brockport scored seven-straight points to take a 15-9 lead at the 14:14 mark of the first half.
The lead hovered between 4-8 points for the next several minutes, with the Golden Eagles leading 29-21 with 7:21 remaining in the first half.
The Panthers followed with an 11-3 run, as a deep three by Griffin Kornaker tied the game at 32-32 at the 4:49 mark. The game was evenly played for the remainder of the half, with the hosts taking a 39-37 advantage into the break.
Middlebury opened the second half by scoring 13 of the first 18 points for a 50-44 lead at the 16:04 mark. Matt Folger scored eight points during the run, including a pair of threes.
The Golden Eagles responded with a 10-0 run over a1:40 span, taking a 54-50 advantage with 14:05 on the clock. Max Bosco ended the scoreless streak with a three, cutting the lead to one (54-53).
A 9-2 spurt gave Brockport a 69-60 lead with 7:53 remaining. Middlebury later responded with 10 of 12 points, with five apiece from Folger and Kornacker, cutting the deficit to 75-74 with 3:36 remaining.
The Golden Eagles answered with four points, before Kornacker converted a three from 25 feet away, once again making it a two-point game (79-77). The hosts converted two free throws, before Kornacker split the defense and made a layup to cut the lead to 81-79 with 44 seconds left to play. Brockport made one free throw on the other end, with a Middlebury timeout following with 13 seconds remaining, trailing by three (82-79). Max Bosco was fouled and converted two free throws with 10 seconds showing, before the Panthers fouled on the other end, sending the Golden Eagles to the line with seven seconds remaining.
The home team made one free throw, increasing its lead to 83-81 with eight seconds to play. Following a timeout, the Panthers got a good look at the three from the left corner to win it, but the shot did not fall, as Brockport made one free throw on the other end for the 84-81 victory.
Kornaker finished with a career-high 28 points and five three-point field goals, while Jack Farrell scored 18. Folger finished with 16 points, nine rebounds, three steals and three blocked shots. Eastman tallied 12 points to go along with seven rebounds, while Bosco dished out a team-high six assists. Farrell's 18 points give him 1,098 for his career, as he moves into 14th place all-time at Middlebury, surpassing Jake Wolfin '13 (1,088) and Greg Poulos '98 (1,090).
Justin Summers led all scorers with 22 points for Brockport, while Tyler Collins and Devante Hagins scored 15 points apiece. Monte Stroma finished the night with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Collins had seven assists.
The Golden Eagles shot 50 percent from the floor in the game, while the Panthers converted on 42.4 percent of their shots, including 11-30 from long range. Brockport controlled the boards 44-30 and outscored Middlebury's bench, 42-2. The victory ran the host's winning streak to 19 games, while the guests score 80 or more points for the 17th time this season.