Men’s Hoops: Middlebury and St. Michael’s Pick Up Wins

Courtesy Middlebury and St. Michael’s Sports Information

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MIDDLEBURY — The #12 Middlebury men’s basketball team cruised past Williams 84-66 on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Panthers improve to 17-3 overall with a 3-2 conference mark, while the Ephs fall to 9-9 overall and 2-3 in the NESCAC. Middlebury is back in action on Friday when it travels to Trinity for a 7:00 p.m. start, while Williams heads to Connecticut College on the same day.

The Ephs took an 8-5 edge on a pair of charity tosses from Henry Reinberg at the 16:21 mark, before Middlebury’s Tommy Eastman answered with a three to knot the game 8-8. The game saw four lead changes over the ensuing 6:45, before the Ephs sank three-straight shots from beyond the arc to take a 23-15 advantage.

The Panthers responded with a 13-3 burst with a layup and a three from Charley Moore to make it 28-26 with 6:25 showing on the clock. The teams traded three pointers to tie the game 31-31 with 5:29 to go, before Middlebury went on an 8-2 spurt, capped by a three from Perry DeLorenzo to close out the half with a 39-33 advantage.

Out of the break, Williams cut the deficit to four (39-35) with a layup from Matthew Karpowicz with 14 seconds expired. The hosts slowly increased the lead to double digits (48-38) with seven points coming from Jack Farrell during the first 4:02. Later, a 6-0 spurt sparked by a three from DeLorenzo, gave Middlebury its largest lead of the contest (70-55) with 7:25 showing on the clock. The Panthers led by double digits for the remainder of the contest, en route to its 84-66 victory.

Farrell led all players with 21 points, while Eastman had 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists for Middlebury. Matt Folger recorded 15 points and pulled down a game-high nine boards. Griffin Kornaker added 14 points and four assists.

Cole Prowitt-Smith led Williams with 13 points, while Henry Feinberg had 12 points and four rebounds. Jovan Jones had a team-high six caroms, while Karpowicz grabbed five rebounds and dished out four assists.

COLCHESTER — The Saint Michael’s College men’s basketball team took the lead for good in the final minutes on Saturday before forcing a late Pace University turnover and clinching an 80-78 victory in the Ross Sports Center during a Northeast-10 Conference contest.

· Saint Michael’s (5-13, 2-9 NE10), Pace (13-7, 5-6 NE10)

· Senior Jordan Guzman (Staten Island, N.Y./Xaverian), 24 points, 8-for-10 field goals, 5-for-7 three-pointers
· First-year Kasai Brown (Brooklyn, N.Y./Millbrook School), 19 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 7-for-11 field goals, 3-for-5 three-pointers
· Senior Eli DiGrande (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex), 13 points, 4-for-6 field goals
· Junior Walker Storey (Shelburne, Vt./Champlain Valley Union), 10 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 3-for-6 field goals
· Sophomore Jontai Williams (Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Hayes), 6 points, 2 steals, 2-for-2 three-pointers
· Redshirt junior Thomas Jackson III (Middletown, Conn./Holderness School), 5 points, 7 assists (career high), 5 rebounds, 2 steals

· Senior Peyton Wejnert, 33 points, 14 rebounds, 13-for-19 field goals
· Junior Brandon Jacobs, 14 points, 10 assists, 4-for-6 field goals
· First-year Christian Adams, 14 points, 6-for-12 field goals
· Junior Austin Gilbertson, 11 points, 4 steals, 3-for-5 three-pointers

· Eleven of the Purple Knights’ 18 games have been decided by 10 points or less.
· Pace entered the contest 14th in Division II and first in the NCAA East Region in scoring defense (65.6), and allowed as many as 70 points for only the fifth time this season.
· The Purple Knights played the middle game of a three-game run that includes two regionally-ranked teams in Le Moyne College and Adelphi University as well as Pace, which was ranked earlier this month.
· This was the fifth straight meeting decided by nine points or fewer.
· Saint Michael’s shot 60.9 percent from three-point range (14-for-23) and 56.5 percent overall for the game, including 60.0 percent for both in the second half.

· Jacobs hit a three-pointer 16 seconds into the game to spark a 7-2 start for Pace, but the Purple Knights responded with the next 10 points, with four different players scoring. Jackson’s triple from the corner made it 12-7 by 15:06.
· Gilbertson wrapped a pair of threes around a Brown dunk to cut the deficit to one by 12:24, but Williams responded with a triple of his own 13 seconds later.
· The hosts continued to lead by no fewer than two points prior to embarking on a 16-2 run, keyed by eight points from Guzman. Storey’s trey pushed the lead to a game-high 37-21 with 2:26 to go, and Brown knocked down a three just before the buzzer to send the hosts into the locker room up 42-27.
· Wejnert’s three capped an 11-0 run to begin the second half, bringing Pace within 42-38, but Guzman had the final five points of a 7-0 response, and the Purple Knights extended their lead back to 14 on two occasions, including leading 62-48 with 11:13 remaining.
· Wejnert had six points during a 9-0 run by the Setters that cut the lead to five with 8:48 left, and Wejnert converted consecutive buckets to tie the game, knotting the teams at 69 after a steal and breakaway lay-up at 4:20.
· DiGrande snapped a 71-all tie with a free throw at 2:59, but Wejnert put his team in front for the first time since early on with a jumper 24 seconds later.
· Brown gave the Purple Knights the lead for good with a pair of free throws at 2:18 before Storey found DiGrande for a hoop at 1:35 that put the hosts ahead by three.
· Another Wejnert lay-in made it 76-75 with 1:14 to go, and a big triple from Brown at 52.8 seconds was met by Jacobs’ trey at 42 seconds, keeping the teams separated by one point.
· Saint Michael’s missed two freebies at 20.2 ticks, and Pace ran the clock down with a chance to win, but a Setter, closely guarded by junior Alvi Rodriguez (Madrid, Spain/La Salle Maravillas), sent a high pass toward the baseline off of a teammate’s fingertips and out of bounds at 5.4 seconds.
· Guzman split two free throws at 2.4 ticks to give the Purple Knights a two-point edge, and Pace was unable to fire off a desperation three from midcourt at the buzzer.

· Wednesday at Adelphi University, 7:30 p.m.