MC
Thompson

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- Middlebury went on a 20-5 second half run to open up a 20-point lead on its way to a 75-49 win against Morrisville State in an NCAA tournament first-round game.

Middlebury jumped out early, taking a 13-4 lead with 13:31 remaining in the first half. Threes on three consecutive trips sparked the run, the first from Joey Kizel with Jake Wolfin knocking down two in a row. Morrisville answered with a 6-0 spurt, making it a 13-10 game at the 11:29 mark on a hoop from Brandon Hanks.

The Panthers came right back with another run, scoring the game’s next eight points to take a 21-10 advantage with 8:18 remaining. The lead grew to as many as 14 twice, but the Mustangs outscored the Panthers 11-3 in the final 6:50 of the half. Neither team scored in the final 2:07, leaving Middlebury with a 29-23 lead at the intermission.

Middlebury shot 37 percent from the field in the first half, including 5-17 from behind the arc. Morrisville connected on 29 percent of its shots, going 1-11 from 3-point range in the first half.

Constant double-teaming in the 2-3 zone held Panther all-american Ryan Sharry to just two points, while he grabbed eight boards on the other end of the floor.

Morrisville chipped away in the second half, cutting the lead to six at 41-35 on a bucket from Mickey Davis at the 15:09 mark. The Panthers followed with the decisive 20-5 run over the next 6:31 to put the game away.

Middlebury shot 7-11 from the floor during the run, hitting four of five 3-pointers. Kizel and Wolfin each knocked down threes, while Thompson scored 10 points, including a pair from behind the arc.

The lead grew to as many as 27 on a late 3 from Albert Nascimento, with the Panthers coming away with a 75-49 win. Middlebury came back to shoot 63 percent from the field in the second half, finishing the game at an even 50 percent. The Panthers held a 20-4 advantage in points off turnovers.

Thompson led the Panthers with a game-high 19 points on 8 of 14 shooting to go along with four assists. Wolfin added 14 points and six assists, Kizel had 11 points and five helpers while Peter Lynch scored 10 of 5-6 shooting. Sharry finished the game with nine points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

Hanks paced the Mustangs with 13 points and 11 rebounds, Kucjok Ater had 10 points and 10 boards while Davis netted 11.