MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – No. 8 Amherst College used a team-high 24-point effort from Jayde Dawson '18 who also scored his 1,000th point at Amherst during the process, but No. 13 Middlebury College used a game-high 31 points from Matt St. Amour and the Panthers scored 59 first half points to help seal a 106-91 victory in Friday evening's pivotal NESCAC tilt in Middlebury, Vt.
With the loss, Amherst moves to 16-6 on the season, 6-3 in league play, while Middlebury improves to 19-3 overall, 7-2 in conference action. The Purple & White travel to Hamilton College for a 3 p.m. matchup Saturday, Feb. 11 in Clinton, N.Y.
Despite a solid 40.5% effort from the floor and 37.5% efficiency from beyond-the-arc, led by 15 points from Johnny McCarthy '18, Amherst fell behind 59-38 at intermission. Middlebury shot 61.1% from the field and 61.5% from three-point range as Jake Brown and St. Amour led the Panthers to their 19-point cushion. St. Amour swished four treys as Middlebury used a pair of 8-0 runs midway through the first half, while Brown was 5-of-8 from the field including two treys and a 4-for-5 effort from the free throw line.
Amherst scored eight of the first 10 points in the second half, cutting the lead to 61-46 with 17:44 on the clock. The lead was slashed to 12 (68-56) on a three pointer from Reid Berman '17 at the 14:22 mark, but Middlebury answered with a three from St. Amour and later another trey from Bryan Jones to go on top 76-58 with 12:54 remaining.
Amherst continued with several quick spurts, but the Panthers answered each time, often with clutch shots from St. Amour as the lead was never cut to less than 11. Middlebury put the game away for good with 2:54 on the scoreboard when St. Amour drained a long three to put his team up 101-85 as the Panthers pulled away to the 106-91 win.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Dawson scored his 24 points on 10-of-21 shooting from the field, while McCarthy followed with 19 points on 7-for-10 efficiency from the field. David George '17 and Michael Riopel '18 added 13 and 10 points respectively, while the pair also hauled in seven and six rebounds.
- Off the bench, Berman swished three treys and dished out five assists, while Eric Conklin '17 cleaned up the glass with seven boards. George and Conklin swatted four and three shots respectively in the loss.
- St. Amour netted six treys and finished with 31 points, while Brown followed with 23 points and six assists. Jack Daly was 8-for-11 from the free throw line en route to 14 points and added a game-high 12 boards and seven helpers. Nick Tarantino scored 12 points and hauled in six rebounds, while Jones and Matt Folger finished with 10 and eight points off the bench respectively.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Dawson became the 30th player in program history to reach the 1,000-point milestone as he has now scored 1,022 points during his time at Amherst.