BRUNSWICK, Maine - The sixth-ranked Middlebury College men's basketball team built a 13-point halftime cushion and held off Bowdoin in a 72-61 win on Friday evening at Morrell Gymnasium.
The Panthers improve to 18-1 (6-1 NESCAC) while the Polar Bears fall to 12-7 (3-4 NESCAC).
Nolan Thompson led all players with 19 points for Middlebury, who had three others in double figures. Joey Kizel went 10-10 from the free throw line and finished with 14 points while James Jensen added 12 and Peter Lynch had 10.
Bowdoin was paced by 14 points apiece from Andrew Madlinger and John Swords. Keegan Pieri had 13 points on 6-7 shooting for the Polar Bears.
The teams traded blows in the first half before a late Panther run pushed the lead to double-digits. Thompson scored all 11 of his first-half points in the final 6:33 of the opening period as Middlebury used a 10-2 run and a quick 6-0 spurt right before the break to take a 43-30 edge at halftime.
Bowdoin closed the gap to seven points following a Pieri jumper at the 13:25 mark of the second half, but the visitors quickly answered with an 8-0 run, capped by a Thompson three-pointer, to take a 55-40 edge with 9:33 to go. Bowdoin would get as close as 10 points on four occasions over the final nine minutes.
The teams grabbed 30 rebounds each as Bowdoin hit on 46% of its shots and Middlebury connected for 44%. The Polar Bears committed 14 turnovers resulting in 17 points for the Panthers.
Middlebury will travel to play at Colby on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Bowdoin will host Williams at 2:00 p.m. Saturday.