The College Report: Plenty of Sizzle and Fizzle as Amherst and Middlebury Play One for the Ages

Credits: Middlebury College

Decades from now, Amherst’s Tom Killian (Summit, Jr.) and Middlebury’s Joey Kizel (Short Hills, Jr.) may gather their grandchildren around the fire and tell them about that long-ago night when their two college squads faced off in a three-overtime epic barnburner. They better have extra logs handy.

Amherst, ranked second in Division 3, prevailed, 104-101, over the third-ranked Panthers, who hosted the Tuesday showdown. Middlebury, with the loss, is no better than the third seed in the New England Small Conference Athletic Conference tournament, which begins on Saturday.

Kizel, a 6-foot guard out of Millburn High, scored a game-high and career-high 30 points, knocking down eight of 17 shots from the field, including five of 10 from outside the three-point arc. He also made nine of 10 free throws, which sounds excellent on the surface, but therein lies the tale of woulda, coulda, shoulda.

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Kizel was fouled with six seconds remaining in regulation and Amherst up by a point. He made the first of two free throws, only to see his second attempt – the possible game winner – clang off the rim, his only miss at the line all night. The Lord Jeffs recovered the rebound, missed a three-point heave and the game slouched into the first extra stanza.

Middlebury got the ball into Kizel’s hands often in the late stages of the third overtime, with mixed results. He stole the ball midway through the period, only to blow a layup. He then put seven points on the board over the span of 70 seconds, beginning with 2:21 left to play, sinking four free throws and firing a heat-seeking missile from long range.

But luck ran out for Middlebury, when Amherst broke a tie with five seconds left in the third overtime by sinking a three-pointer. The Panthers then got the ball to Kizel for a last-second desperation attempt that was off the mark.

Kizel played 52 out of 55 possible minutes. He also managed four assists and three steals. Killian, a 6-4 guard out of Delbarton, started for the Lord Jeffs and was on the court for 27 minutes; he scored four points, hitting two of three field goal attempts.

Amherst (22-2, 10-0 Nescac) faces Colby in first-round tournament action on Saturday, while Middlebury (21-2, 8-2 Nescac) takes on Wesleyan at home.

Kevin Ferguson (Berkeley Heights, Fr.) ripped down a game-high 10 rebounds to help Army to an 85-68 victory over Lafayette in Easton, Pa. on Wednesday. The 6-10 center out of Gov. Livingston High managed to stay out of foul trouble and, thus, stayed on the floor for 24 minutes. He scored six points, making three of five field goal attempts, and blocked two shots as the Black Knights moved to 11-13 overall and 4-5 in the Patriot League.

Kevin Udo (West Orange, Jr.) racked up a double-double for Bloomfield in Tuesday's 80-75 home win over Post. He scored 12 points, hitting six of seven shots from the floor, and laid claim to 13 caroms. The Deacons are 12-11 overall and 10-5 in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.

Ken Rubenstein (South Orange, Sr.) was good for 14 points as Montclair State defeated The College of New Jersey, 99-83, in Montclair on Wednesday. Rubenstein, a 6-1 guard out of Columbia High, converted two of eight attempts from the high-rent district, along with one chip shot; he also canned six of 10 free throws as the Red Hawks moved to 8-17 overall and 4-14 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference.

Oberlin defeated Hiram, 59-50, at home on Wednesday, helped along by 14 points from Austin Little (Maplewood, Soph.). The 5-11 guard out of Columbia High took all but one of his shots from three-point range, making three of 12. He also hit his lone two-point try and all three of his free throws. His three steals were a game high as the Yeomen improved to 7-17 overall and 5-10 in the North Coast Athletic Conference.

Another double-double from Jack Cole (New Providence, Soph.) was for naught as Stonehill lost, 74-63, to Mass.-Lowell, in Easton, Mass. on Wednesday. Cole, a 6-8 low-post player via New Providence High, was co-high for the Skyhawks with 16 points, depositing six of 11 field goal attempts and four of five free throws through the hoop. His 10 rebounds were a game high. Stonehill dropped to 11-11 overall and 7-11 in the Northeast-10.

Lamar Powell (West Orange, Jr.) led Bard with 13 points in a 77-51 loss to Rensselaer Poly in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. on Tuesday. Powell, a 5-10 guard out of West Orange High, was on target with four of his 12 shots from the field, including one of three from downtown, and all four of his free throws. Bard slid to 4-20 overall and 1-15 in the Liberty League.


Caroline Murphy (Chatham, Jr.) converted a pair of free throws with five seconds left on the game clock to ice a 48-44 Gettysburg victory over Dickinson in Carlisle, Pa. on Wednesday. Murphy, a 6-1 center out of Chatham High, was the game's high scorer with 15 points and her 11 rebounds were tops, as well. She made six of her eight shots from the field, including one from long range, as well as those two foul shots, which represented her only trip to the line all game. The Bullets are 18-6 overall and 15-4 in the Centennial Conference.

Another Chatham High alum, Lindsay Atchison (Green Village, Sr.) of King's, came through with a double-double as the Lady Monarchs crowned Misericordia, 78-56, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. on Tuesday. Atchison, a 6-foot center, put 12 points on the scoreboard, hitting on five of her eight field goal attempts, including two of four from the Lackawanna County border. Ten caroms fell into her clutches as King's moved to 19-5 overall and 11-2 in Freedom Conference action.

Ashley Morris (West Orange, Soph.) treated Felician to 15 points in Tuesday's 83-48 rout of Dominican (N.Y.) in Rutherford. Morris, a 5-10 forward out of West Orange High, cashed on six of eight shots from the field and three of four from the foul line. She also cradled eight rebounds as the Golden Falcons improved to 7-16 overall and 7-9 in the CACC.

Alyssa Polimeni (Berkeley Heights, Fr.) contributed 14 points to the cause for Ursinus in Wednesday's 61-59 victory over visiting Washington (Md.). Polimeni, a 5-8 guard out of Gov. Livingston High, split the twine on six of her 11 shots from the field, including two of three from deep. Ursinus is 12-12 overall and 9-10 in Centennial Conference play.


The Susquehanna women’s team won the Landmark Conference Championship meet last weekend in Scranton, Pa., with Dana Pontecorvo (New Providence, Soph.) contributing points in three events. She got third place in the 1,650-yard freestyle, finishing in 18:18.89, with the winner in at 18:01.65. She also took fourth place in two events, the 500-yard freestyle (her 5:24.61 to the winner’s 5:09.43) and the 400-yard individual medley (her 4:51.05 to the winner’s 4:36.50).

Nick Boyle (Westfield, Soph.) was in the pool for Susquehanna’s men’s team, and he helped them to a second-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay, swimming the third leg. He also made the ‘A’ final of the 100-yard freestyle, where he finished seventh in 48.59, with the winner having touched in 46.17. The Crusaders finished second in the team standings.

Rutgers hosted a trio of Big East rivals in Georgetown, Seton Hall and Villanova last weekend in advance of the Conference championship meet to good effect. Brittany Guinee (Berkeley Heights, Jr.) came out of the pool a winner after the 100-yard butterfly, which she swam in 57.05. She also got third place in the 200-yard butterfly, in which she needed 2:06.98, while the winner touched in 2:04.23. Teammate Greta Leberfinger (Chatham, Soph.) got third place in the breaststroke at both 100 yards, which she completed in 1:05.02 against a winning 1:04.34, and 200 yards (her 2:20.98 against a winning 2:16.49). She also tried the 200-yard individual medley and scored seventh-place points, with a 2:11.25 clocking, while the winner was in at 2:07.36. Both Guinee and Leberfinger contributed to the Scarlet Knights’ ‘A’ team’s win in the 200-yard medley relay, as well as a second-place finish in the medley at 400 yards. Dual meet scoring was in effect, and Rutgers outpointed both Seton Hall and Georgetown, but fell short of Villanova by a mere six points.

Dickinson edged Swarthmore, 104-101, in women’s dual meet action last weekend. Caroline Brennan (Madison, Soph.) made a difference for the winning Red Devils, getting first place in both the 1,000-yard freestyle, with a winning time of 10:57.70, and the 500-yard freestyle (5:20.16). She also took a spin in the 200-yard butterfly and came out of the pool with a runner-up placing; her 2:16.94 was topped only by the winner’s 2:09.53.

The Swarthmore men prevailed, 111-94, over the men of Dickinson. Stan Le (Millburn, Jr.) helped Swarthmore with a second-place finish in the 200-yard individual medley (his 2:04.69 against a winning 2:02.48) and a third-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke (his 2:22.29) against a winning 2:17.75). Teammate David Ranshous (Chatham, Fr.) was second into the pool for the Garnet’s winning ‘A’ team in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Individually, he got fourth place in the 50-yard freestyle (his 23.29 against a winning 22.55).

Adam Weinbrom (Chatham, Jr.) of Gettysburg won the men’s 200-yard individual medley in dual meet action against Franklin & Marshall last Saturday. He touched the wall in 2:02.62. He also scored points in the 100-yard backstroke, finishing in 55.72 against a winning 52.98.

Gettysburg’s Alyssa Pepper (Livingston, Fr.) got second place in the women’s 100-yard backstroke in a dual meet with Franklin & Marshall in Lancaster, Pa. last Saturday. She finished in 1:03.27, close on the heels of the winner’s 1:02.95. Pepper also led off for the Bullets’ winning ‘A’ team in the 200-yard medley relay.


Quentin Monaghan (Chatham, Fr.) was a bright spot for Notre Dame as the Fighting Irish fell, 4-3, to No. 7 Kentucky in Lexington, Ky. on Tuesday. The Chatham High grad posted a straight sets victory at third singles, defeating Alejandro Gomez, 6-4, 7-6 (1).

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