Hunter Merryman scored 23 points with 13 rebounds - both game-highs - to lead Middlebury to a 92-79 victory over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in a non-league game at East Campus Arena. The 19th-ranked Panthers, who used a 16-7 run early in the second half to build a double-digit lead, improve to 4-2. The Engineers fall to 0-4.
Merryman made 10-14 shots from the field, including 3-4 from three-point range, to go with two offensive rebounds and 11 defensive boards. He also had five assists and a steal. Four others also scored at least 10 points for the Panthers, who shot 53.1% from the field (17-32) and 87% from the free throw line (20-23).
Following a first half that featured runs from both teams, Middlebury turned a 44-41 halftime lead into a 60-48 advantage 5:52 into the second half. Merryman had seven points in that span, while Joey Kizel added five. The Panthers never led by fewer than nine points from that point forward.
Kizel finished the contests with 14 points, nine rebounds , a game-high seven assists and three steals in 35 minutes. Matt St. Amour also scored 14 points, Jake Nidenberg added 12 points with five rebounds in only 12 minutes, and James Jensen scored 10 points in his first action of the season.
RPI saw 13 players score, led by Josh Dugas , who had 12 points. Tyler Gendron added 11 points and seven rebounds. Brian Hatcher led the Engineers with nine rebounds and eight points.
Rensselaer is back on the court on Tuesday when it visits No. 10 Williams College for a non-league game at 7:00 p.m. Middlebury hosts in-state rival Castleton on Tuesday beginning at 7:30 p.m.