MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - The Connecticut College men's basketball team dropped its NESCAC opener to No. 24 Middlebury by a 92-80 score on Friday evening at Pepin Gymnasium.
The Panthers broke away at the end by utilizing a 12-2 run down the stretch. After freshman Ryan Omslaer (Jackson, N.J.) converted a layup to make it 80-78 with 2:37 remaining, Eric McCord completed an old-fashioned 3-point play to provide a spark the Panthers needed for the rest of the game. Max Bosco, who set up McCord on the previous play, drilled a trifecta on the team's next possession and McCord drove in for another layup to put the hosts up by twin figures.
Connecticut College was competitive for nearly the entire contest and only trailed by an 11-8 score when senior Phil Leotsakos (Arlington, Mass.) finished a pass from sophomore Jack Zimmerman (Bedford, N.H.) at the 15:22 mark. Middlebury (10-3, NESCAC 1-0) utilized a 9-2 run to move ahead by twin figures, but the Camels fought back and came within one on two occasions.
Trailing 47-43 at recess, the visitors scored the first six points of the second half and jumped up front when senior David Labossiere (Stoneham, Mass.) made an unassisted layup. Connecticut College regained the lead after falling behind by 10 courtesy of a Labossiere dunk which made it 72-71 with 6:10 on the clock, but the hosts recovered and got a layup from McCord to remain ahead for good.
Bosco led four Middlebury players in twin figures by coming off the bench and racking up 24 points. McCord contributed 21 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the floor and eight rebounds, while Matt Folger scored 17 points and also recorded a team-leading three steals.
Labossiere paced Connecticut College (4-7, NESCAC 0-1) by exploding for 36 points on 16-of-25 shooting from the floor. Sophomore Dan Draffan (Hamden, Conn.) registered a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Omslaer finished the game with seven points to go along with 10 boards.
Connecticut College will conclude a challenging weekend when it next travels to face No. 2 Williams, which is undefeated, tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m.