Nov. 20, 2010
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-Visiting Middlebury shot 52.7 per cent from the field, took a 13-point halftime lead and went on to defeat the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's basketball team, 86-62, in the championship game of the Hampton Inn Classic at the Tripp Athletic Center Saturday.
The Panthers, ranked ninth in the nation in the d3hoops.com pre-season poll, led, 32-27 with 5:15 left in the first half before outscoring UMass Dartmouth, 12-4 the rest of the way to lead by 13 at the intermission. A 12-6 run midway through the second half gave Middlebury a 67-44 lead with 9:57 left, and the Corsairs never got closer than 20 points after that.
After falling behind early, 16-5, the Corsairs scored the next seven points, getting layups from junior guard Alex Klepadlo (Bernardston, MA/Pioneer Valley HS) and junior guard Paul Rose (Boston, MA/North Cambridge Catholic HS/Mass Bay CC) and a three-pointer from junior forward Colin Burns (Chepachet, RI/Ponaganset HS/CCRI) to make it 16-12. The Panthers replied with an 11-2 run that included a pair of jump shots by sophomore forward Peter Lynch (Westford, MA/Westford Academy) and a three-pointer by sophomore guard Nolan Thompson (Akron, OH/University School) to make it 25-14 with 9:46 left. An 8-0 UMD run, featuring a three-pointer and a layup by senior forward Brandon Stephens (Dorchester, MA/Newton North HS) sandwiched around Rose's trey, cut the lead to three points at 25-22, but the Corsairs could come no closer.
Freshman guard Jon Pavao (Fall River, MA/Durfee HS) led UMass Dartmouth with 16 points off the bench, while Stephens added 13. Senior forward Ryan Wholey (Pelham, NH/Bishop Guertin HS) led Middlebury with 21 points, junior forward Ryan Sharry (Braintree, MA/BC High School) had 15, and Thompson added 10. Junior center Justin Pulver (Plymouth, MA/Falmouth HS/Johnson & Wales) led UMass Dartmouth with six rebounds. Sharry had 11 for the Panthers, who out rebounded the Corsairs, 42-27.
"I don't think we played particularly well on the defensive end," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Brian Baptiste. "We gave them too many easy looks. We were trying to create disturbances with our half court defenses, and I thought we pressured the ball well, but we couldn't disrupt their passing lanes. We just have to do a better job of defending. I'm disappointed, but I can understand that we are a young team with a lot of new faces, and takes time to jell and play as a team."
Stephens represented UMass Dartmouth on the All-Tournament Team. Middlebury's Sharry took MVP honors, and he was joined by teammates Wholey and senior center Andrew Locke (Seattle, WA/Lakeside School), junior guard Chris Beauchamp (Glendale, NY/Xavier HS) of Baruch and senior guard Isaiah Braithwaite (Farmington, ME/Mt. Blue HS) of Thomas. Baruch defeated Thomas for third place, 80-77.
"It's a long season," said Baptiste. "We've played two games, and we've played well in one and not so good in the other, and we have to keep getting better in practice every day."
UMass Dartmouth dropped to 1-1 with the defeat, while Middlebury improved to 2-0 with the victory. The Corsairs will return to action when they visit Brandeis Tuesday evening. The Panthers will visit St. Joseph's Tuesday.