Men’s Hoops: Panthers Beaten in NESCAC Quaterfinals ; St. Mike’s Beaten in Home Finale

Courtesy Middlebury and St.Michael’s Sports Information Offices

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HARTFORD, CT. — The fifth-seeded Middlebury men’s basketball team (20-5) fell 100-82 at fourth-seeded Trinity in NESCAC Quarterfinal action on Saturday afternoon. The Bantams (17-8) advance to the semifinals on Saturday, February 28th, while the Panthers will wait to hear about their NCAA Tournament fate when the selection show airs on March 2nd at 12:30 p.m.

Middlebury’s Max Bosco got things going early, hitting a shot from beyond the arc, before a layup from Jack Farrell with 17:58 showing on the clock gave the visitors an early 5-0 edge. The Bantams responded with an 12-2 run, capped by a jumper and a free throw from Joseph Bell to take a 12-7 edge at the 14:15 mark. Trinity slowly increased its lead, before a jumper from Charles Redd gave the hosts a 21-11 advantage at the midway point of the first half.

The Panthers cut the deficit to five (21-16) on a pair of charity tosses from Tommy Eastman. Trinity answered with an 11-3 run, making it 32-19 with 6:17 remaining in the opening session. Middlebury got within seven (32-25) on a layup from Farrell at the 5:11 mark, but the hosts slowly stretch the lead to 48-34 heading into the intermission.

Out of the break, the Bantams continued to increase their lead, maintaining more than a 20-point advantage for most of the half as they cruise to the 100-82 victory.

Farrell led the Panthers with 29 points, moving up to 16th on Middlebury’s all-time scoring list with 1,068, surpassing Jack Daly ’18 (1,067). Eastman recorded 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while Griffin Kornaker dished out six assist and Bosco tallied 11 points.

Bell paced all players with 23 points, while pulling down seven boards. Kyle Padmore scored 19 points and tallied a game-high 12 assists, while Colin Donocan and Nick Seretta each contributed 15 points apiece. Seretta also grabbed a game-high nine boards.

COLCHESTER — The Saint Michael’s College men’s basketball team lost a close 73-65 decision to nationally-regarded Saint Anselm College on Saturday during Senior Day at Ross Sports Center in Northeast-10 Conference play. The Hawks received a vote toward this week’s National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) national poll while standing fifth in the first NCAA East Region rankings of the winter.

· Saint Michael’s (7-18, 4-14 NE10), Saint Anselm (17-8, 13-5 NE10)

· First-year Kasai Brown (Brooklyn, N.Y./Millbrook School), 17 points, 7 rebounds, 5-for-8 three-pointers
· Senior Jordan Guzman (Staten Island, N.Y./Xaverian), 17 points, 3 assists, 3-for-7 three-pointers
· Senior Eli DiGrande (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex), 11 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 5-for-11 field goals
· Redshirt junior Thomas Jackson III (Middletown, Conn./Holderness School), 7 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals
· Junior Jason Heter (Andover, N.J./Newton), 7 points, 2 assists

· Junior Chris Paul, 26 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 9-for-15 field goals, 8-for-11 free throws
· First-year Tyler Arbuckle, 14 points, 6 rebounds
· Junior Gustav Suhr-Jessen, 12 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks
· Sophomore Miles Tention, 11 points, 5 assists, 3-for-5 three-pointers
· Senior Danny Evans, 10 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks

· The Purple Knights honored their three graduating players prior to tip-off, with DiGrande, Guzman and Jackson appearing in their final games at Ross Sports Center. Jackson, who redshirted last winter, will forgo his final year of eligibility.
· Saint Anselm was fifth in this week’s first NCAA East Region poll while receiving a vote toward the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) national rankings.
· The Purple Knights committed a season-low 11 turnovers, their fewest since recording that same figure at Saint Anselm last Feb. 23. The hosts held an advantage in three-point shooting (46.4%-39.1%) thanks to going 13-of-28 from deep and a 13-7 lead in second-chance points despite both teams nabbing nine offensive rebounds. Saint Anselm was 16-of-21 on free throws to the Purple and Gold’s 2-for-5 showing.
· Saint Michael’s lost by 10 points or fewer for the 10th time this winter.
· Brown pushed his season point total to 408, becoming just the sixth Purple Knight first-year with 400.
· Guzman vaulted past Juddy McDonald ’93 (73 in 1992-93) for 10th at Saint Michael’s in season three-pointers (74).
· While Saint Anselm extended its winning streak to seven games, this was only the second victory in that run decided by 11 points or less.
· All 73 of Saint Anselm’s points came from its starters, who each played all 20 minutes in the second half.
· The teams played for the 123rd time since the series began in 1939.

· DiGrande’s jumper at 17:04 of the opening half accounted for the fourth lead swing of the game and kicked off a 9-0 run during which the seniors did all of the scoring. By the time Jackson’s lay-up gave Saint Michael’s a 17-8 lead by 13:26, seniors had accounted for all but three points while netting 14 in a row.
· Sophomore Jontai Williams (Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Hayes) buried a three at 5:58 to produce a 29-20 lead, but the Hawks countered with a 17-3 run that carried into the second half, with Paul scoring nine points and Evans hitting two threes. Saint Anselm led 37-32 at 18:51 of the second stanza.
· Guzman, Heter and Brown all knocked down triples during a tying 9-4 run before Paul had four points in a 15-4 stretch that gave the Hawks a 56-45 lead with 13:58 to go.
· Brown and Guzman drilled consecutive threes before Guzman’s lay-in cut the deficit to 56-53, and the Hawks never led by more than eight points from there.
· Arbuckle hit three freebies during a 5-0 run that pushed the visitors into a 65-57 lead with 8:44 remaining, but DiGrande later stepped out for a corner three at 6:25 before Guzman connected on two free throws with 4:14 remaining, creating a 68-65 margin.
· Suhr-Jessen’s third-chance lay-in at 3:43 was his team’s first basket in 3:17 – and just the Hawks’ third in a 7:58 span – but gave the Hawks a 70-65 edge.
· The teams traded seven empty possessions down the stretch before Paul made a free throw at 1:10, and two Purple Knight chances early in the final minute were offline. Paul sealed the win with two free throws at 19.1 seconds.

· Tuesday at Southern New Hampshire University, 7:30 p.m.
· The Purple Knights cap their season that day.
· The contest will be televised live on FOX College Sports where available.