Men’s Hoops: Second-Half Comeback Lifts Middlebury Over Hilbert

Courtesy Middlebury Sports Information

HAMBURG, NY. — Middlebury trailed by as many as 12 points in the second half, but it put together a furious comeback en route to a 95-87 road victory Tuesday over Hilbert (4-8). The 24th-ranked Panthers end their first semester of action at 8-2 and are idle until Sunday, December 30, when they travel to No. 23 Swarthmore for a 3:00 p.m. contest.

Ahead 5-3 early on, Middlebury rattled off a 15-6 run spanning 3:42 of action for a 20-9 lead on a three-point field goal by Joey Leighton with 13:47 left in the first half. The Hawks slowly chipped away at the deficit, grabbing a 29-28 edge on a basket by layup by Hunter Martineau with 7:38 showing on the clock. The teams traded small leads over the remaining minutes of the stanza, with the Hawks taking a 49-47 advantage into the locker room on a jumper by Nicholas Parucki in the final seconds.

In the second half where both sides had small leads early on, Hilbert utilized a 12-2 run over 4:20 of play for a 67-58 edge on a three by Parucki. That advantage grew to as many as 74-62 with 9:29 left on a jumper from Masia Phillips. The Panthers began their comeback by outscoring Hilbert 22-10 over the next 6:44, tying the score at 84-84 on two free throws from Jack Farrell with 3:45 remaining. Middlebury put together a 9-0 run covering 2:41 of play for a 93-84 edge on a pair of charity tosses by Farrell with 1:04 on the clock on its way to the 95-87 victory.

Matt Folger led six Panthers in double figures with 26 points, including five threes, to go along with 11 rebounds, four blocked shots and four assists. Kornaker posted 17 points and four assists, while Eric McCord tallied a double-double of 11 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Farrell finished with 15 points and six assists, while Dahleh and Leighton each had 10 points, respectively.

Parucki paced the hosts with a game-high 28 points, while Phillips added 17 points and seven assists. Joseph Braniecki had 11 points, seven rebounds and three blocks, while Dre’ Turnipseed added 10 points. Martineau ended the contest with a game-best nine assists to go along with nine points for the Hawks.