Peter Lynch was a factor inside, especially down the stretch, for the Panthers as he tossed in 19 points, including six-of-eight from the field and seven-of-eight from the foul line.
“What upset me the most was when they got the basketball in the post late in the game, we weren’t tough enough,” said Curle. “We didn’t make a stand down low. That’s the second time already this year that a post player has hit a high percentage against us.”
The two teams combined for 100 points in the second half after the Cardinals stood their ground over the first 20 minutes with a five-point advantage.
Kizel was a third Middlebury player in double figures with 13 points. Thompson, in addition to his 23 points, grabbed seven rebounds.
The Cardinals went 12 players deep and had a balanced scoring effort. Shavar Fields led the way with 11 points, while Shamoy McIntosh and Ezra Hodgson each added 10. Tibbs, Chris Manning and Perez all chipped in with eight.
Tibbs paced Plattsburgh with six rebounds and added a team-high three steals, along with Manning.
“Manning played well for us with eight points, six assists and three steals,” said Curle. “And Tibbs gave us some energy.
“We shot 48 percent from the field, 37 percent from three-point range and 92 percent from the line (12-of-13). That’s not bad. But we had 25 fouls and they had 15. They took 23 free throws and we took 13.”
The Cardinals don’t have much time to rest up following Sunday’s showdown. Plattsburgh is in Canton on Tuesday for an 8 p.m. non-conference game against St. Lawrence University.
Middlebury 80, Plattsburgh 73
Wolfin 2-0-5, Kizel 4-4-13, Thompson 8-4-23, Lynch 6-7-19, Roberts 1-0-2, Brierley 0-0-0, Bulluck 1-4-7, Merryman 2-0-5, Jensen 3-0-6. Totals: 27-19-80.
Manning 4-0-8, McIntosh 2-4-10, Perez 3-2-8, Tibbs 4-0-8, Hodgson 4-0-10, Mitchell 2-0-5, Williams 1-0-2, Fields 3-5-11, Moody 1-1-3, Parker 1-0-3, O’Shea 1-0-2, Correa 1-0-3. Totals: 27-12-73.
3-point goals: Middlebury (7): Thompson 3; Wolfin; Kizel; Bulluck, Merryman. Plattsburgh (7): McIntosh 2; Hodgson 2; Mitchell, Parker, Correa.
Halftime: Plattsburgh, 29-24.