Men’s Hoop: Panthers Roll Past Spartans 96-74

Courtesy Middlebury Sports Information

MIDDLEBURY– The Middlebury men’s basketball team saw 11 players find the scoring column, including four in double figures, during a 96-74 home-opening victory Tuesday evening over Castleton. The Panthers (4-5) return to the court Saturday afternoon when they play host to Plattsburgh State at 4:00 p.m., while Castleton (3-5) hosts Johnson State on Thursday.

In the early minutes, Castleton grabbed a narrow 5-4 lead on a layup from Chad Copeland with 18:20 left. Middlebury took control of the game when it rattled off 22-4 run that spanned 5:09, including four three-point field goals. Two came from Matt St. Amour, as the hosts led 26-9 with 13:11 showing on the first-half clock.

The Spartans slowly chipped away at the Panther advantage, cutting it to nine at 38-29 with 4:39 showing on the clock via a fastbreak layup by Tondi Mushandu following a steal. Middlebury outscored Castleton by a 13-8 count over the remainder of the opening stanza, including a 65-foot heave by St. Amour that hit nothing but net as the halftime buzzer sounded, for a 52-37 advantage headed to the locker room. The long-distance shot was St. Amour’s third three-pointer of the opening half.

Out of the break, the Panthers rode the momentum of St. Amour’s shot, producing a 9-2 run, capped off on a pair of free throws by Matt Daley for a 61-39 lead with at the 16:27 mark. The Panthers maintained a 20-plus point lead, holding their largest advantage of the game at 30 (83-53) on a fastbreak dunk from Zach Baines, cruising to the win.

Brown’s team-best 16 points came on 7-10 shooting to go along with handing out a season-high eight assists. St. Amour added 12 points and a season-best seven helpers, Adisa Majors recorded a career-high 11 points, while Baines came off the bench with 10 points in 15 minutes. Daley finished with a near double-double of nine points and a team-high eight rebounds. The Panthers shot just over 58 percent (39-67) for the game, held a 38-31 rebounding advantage and dished out a season-high 31 assists.

Mushandu led three players in double figures for the Spartans with 14 points, Joshua Horton had 13, while Copeland finished with 10. Edmund Fitzgerald had a nice all-around game off the bench with six points and seven rebounds in 16 minutes, while Pavin Parrish had nine points.

Box Score:

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