Senior captain Ben Rudin tied his career high of 29 points to lead the Middlebury Panthers to a 79-62 win over Connecticut College in the NESCAC quarterfinals played this past Saturday in Middlebury. Rudin, who led the Panthers in scoring this year (404 points, 18.2 ppg,) kept things going in Saturday's post season contest hitting three treys and going six for seven from the charity stripe. Sophomore center Andrew Locke added another 14 points and Matt Westman came off the bench to contribute an additional ten. Demetrius Porter led Connecticut College in their season ending game with 23 points. Middlebury built up a commanding 46-23 lead in the first half and rode that lead in the second half to get the win.
With the win the Panthers will host the NESCAC final four this weekend. On Saturday they will face Bowdoin College in the Conference semifinals. (They defeated Bowdoin in the teams only meeting, Feb. 6, 62-50.) Tip-off for the huge rematch is scheduled for 2 p.m. A win in that one will put the Panthers in the Conference championship game on Sunday.
As the number one seed in the conference tournament the Panthers will host the NESCAC semifinals and finals in Pepin Gym this Saturday, Feb. 28 and Sunday, March 1. If you like basketball come on out and watch. It may not be Division I but it is an excellent brand of basketball, and with an automatic bid to NCAA Division III tournament up for grabs it should be pretty exciting. Advanced ticket sales can be purchased by going to go.middlebury.edu/tickets or by calling 443-6433. You can also stop by the central campus box office in McCullough during regular business hours, Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The lady Panthers weren't so fortunate in their conference quarterfinal game, losing last Saturday at home to the Amherst Jeffs 71-49. Amherst jumped out to a 35-18 lead in the first half and never looked back. Sarah Leyman and Jaclyn Daigneault led the Jeffs potent offense by knocking down 17 and 16 points respectively. Starting Sophomore guard Lauren Sanchez to lead Middlebury in what proved to be their season finale. The Panthers complete the 2008/2009 season with eight wins and 13 losses.
For our new Chittenden County readers, staring next week, we will include ocverage of CVU sports.