MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- #13 Middlebury College held off visiting Bridgewater State University, 85-81, on Friday night at the Middlebury Men's Basketball Tip-Off Classic. The game marked the season-opener for both teams.
Sophomore forward Alex Sobel (East Setauket, N.Y.) and junior guard Max Bosco (Scarsdale, N.Y.) paced the Panthers with 21 points apiece. Sobel connected on 10 of 13 field goals and added seven rebounds (six offensive), three assists, a steal and a blocked shot. Bosco went 9-for-11 at the free throw line and notched four rebounds, three assists and a steal.
Middlebury senior forward Max Folger (Weston, Conn.) posted a double-double with 15 points and a game-high 17 rebounds (three offensive) to go along with five blocked shots, two assists and three steals.
Bridgewater State placed five players in double-figure scoring led by senior forward Rayshon Ward (Fayetteville, N.C.) who notched 18 points to go along with eight rebounds (four offensive), five steals, two assists and a blocked shot. Senior guard Ryan Carney (Easton, Mass) posted a double-double with 17 points and 11 boards, while sophomore guard Admar Jaramillo (Brockton, Mass.) checked in with 16 points, six assists, two rebounds, two steals and block.
Ward now has 978 points in his career.
Sophomore forward Jose Monteiro Jr. (Brockton, Mass.) added 17 points, three rebounds and two blocks in 29 minute off the bench for the Bears, while senior forward Dimitri St. Louis ( Brockton, Mass.) contributed ten points on 3 of 4 shooting from behind the arc as well as four rebounds, two steals and two blocks.
The tightly contested game featured two ties and eight lead changes. Middlebury led 33-21 with 8:41 remaining in the first half, but a BSU 13-2 run out of a timeout made it a one-point game (35-34). Four players scored during the run including three-point plays by Carney, Jaramillo and St. Louis.
The Panthers would maintain a small lead over the remainder of the first half and held a 46-43 advantage at the break.
Middlebury scored the first nine points of the second half, including five from Sobel, and seemed on the verge of running away with the win. The Panthers still led by double-digits, 67-57, following an Eastman layup with 9:26 left to play.
The Bears then outscored the Panthers 17-4 over the next four minutes to jump ahead, 74-71. Back-to-back three-pointers by Jaramillo and Monteiro Jr. started the run, while Carney capped it off with a layup and jumper to give the visitors the lead.
Bridgewater's next four possessions, however, resulted in two missed shots and two turnovers. Middlebury answered with an Eastman layup, a Bosco trifecta and a Sobel layup to pull ahead, 78-74, with 3:41 left to play.
Ward cut the deficit in half with a fall-away jumper, but junior guard Jack Farrell (Verona, N.J.) answered with a layup at the other end of the floor. Following back-to-back turnovers, Carney knocked down a jumper to make it a one-possession game, but the Panthers answered again as Bosco drained a jumper to make the score 82-78 with 1:14 showing on the scoreboard.
After a missed BSU three-pointer, Bosco connected on a pair of free throws with 26 seconds remaining. Monteiro Jr. buried a three-pointer to pull the Bears to within 84-81, but Bosco made 1 of 2 at the line to seal the win for Middlebury.
The Panthers shot 46% (31-67) for the game and went 8-for-26 (31%) from three-point range and 15-for-19 (79%) at the free throw line.
The Bears connected on 44% (32-72) of their field goal attempts including 10-for-22 (46%) from behind the arc. Bridgewater also went 7-for-9 (78%) at the free throw line as the Panthers made ten more trips to the charity stripe.
The Middlebury Tip-Off Classic continues on Saturday afternoon as the Bears (0-1) take on SUNY Canton at two, while the Panthers (1-0) face Wentworth at four.