MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – The Morrisville State College men's basketball team resumed schedule action following the semester break Monday night, dropping the non-conference road contest 85-64 at #4 ranked Middlebury College.
The loss kicks off a four game week for the Mustangs, who fall to 5-6 overall as they continue North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Wednesday at Keuka College.
Morrisville State matched the Panthers in play in the paint with 44 points in the contest, 42 of which came from the Mustangs big men inside.
Kevin Dennis (Bronx, N.Y.) led the efforts with a 17 point, 10 rebound performance, adding two blocked shots; while fellow forwards Brison Hall (Syracuse, N.Y.) notched 12 points, snagging nine rebounds, and teammate Derek Beames (Otego, N.Y.) added 13 points and eight boards off the bench.
Morrisville State got off to a quick start, leading the hosts 7-2 in the opening two minutes, before stalling offensively as Middlebury took control of the contest and rattled off 15 straight points to claim the 10 point advantage four minutes later.
The Mustangs cut the lead to seven twice, but Middlebury was able to maintain the double digit lead until the five minute mark when a layup by Dennis brought the visitors within nine.
Minutes later, back to back jumpers by Ward and Beames made it a seven point ball game at the break, as Middlebury took a 36-29 lead into the locker room at the half.
Morrisville State was able to maintain striking distance until late in the second half when a 15-2 run by the Panthers increased the lead to 25 with 3:40 remaining in the contest, a deficit that proved too much for the Mustangs to overcome.
The Mustangs struggled from the outside, shooting a mere 9.5% from beyond the arc as they hit 2-of-21 from long range; and finished the contest hitting 36.8% from the floor.
They return to the court Wednesday at Keuka, with tipoff scheduled at 6 p.m. in Keuka.
Morrisville State College's curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology and has been lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs.
The college was ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2018 issue and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2018 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about Morrisville State College, visit www.morrisville.edu.