Men’s Basketball is Dropping Bucket After Bucket

By CLAIRE MESSERSMITH

MICHAEL BORENSTEIN
Griffin Kornaker ’21 attempts to edge his way into the Keene State perimeter.

After an 83-37 victory in its home opener in Pepin Gymnasium, the Middlebury men’s basketball team propelled itself to five more wins, only suffering one recent loss this past Saturday. The Panthers remain 12th-ranked and continue with momentum, having yet to host or visit another NESCAC team. 

Middlebury improved to 4-0 on the season with a 78-63 road win at Morrisville State on Tuesday night, Nov. 27. The Panthers came out fast with a 10-2 lead, with  seven points from Jack Farrell ’21. With that, Middlebury’s bench also outscored Morrisville State’s by an impressive margin of 43-8.

 Hot shooting led the men’s basketball team past New England College, 4-1 in their schedule, shooting .556 from long-range distance to pull out a 97-68 victory on Thursday, Nov. 29. Matt Folger ’20 led Middlebury in points at NEC, recording a career high of 28. Max Bosco ’21 and Hilal Dahleh ’19 netted 14 points, while Eric McCord ’19 pulled down eight rebounds.    

 On Saturday, Dec. 1, Middlebury hosted Keene State for its third game in five days, falling to Keene 93-88. A setback in the sixth game of the season, the loss marks Middlebury’s only loss in the 2018-19 season. Farrell led the Panthers in points, with a career high of 30. McCord, co-captain with Dahleh, posted 10 boards for the game.

 McCord commented on previous meetings with the Panthers’ opponent, Keene State, and the team’s mentality going into Saturday: “We want to be confident going into any game, but at the same time we know that Keene State is a great opponent who we have battled with every year, so we had a lot of respect for them. We know we had to come to play.”

The team fought back hard in the second half, which McCord described as “showing fight and relentlessness.”

 The Panthers (5-1) have a lot to be proud of, and will show up to play Plattsburgh State on Tuesday night, Dec. 4. Plattsburgh State is ranked 13th, one spot below Middlebury. “We’re definitely disappointed in the loss, but there are a lot of positives to take away [from the Keene State game]. Our team chemistry continues to improve, and we just keep getting better playing together,” McCord said. As the season continues, the Middlebury men’s basketball team is a force to be reckoned with.

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