The Hobart College basketball team outlasted Roberts Wesleyan College 81-80 in double overtime in the opening round of the Wendy’s College Classic in Bristol Gym. Senior guard Stefan Thompson hit the game-winning basket with 16 seconds remaining to finish off a 19-point, 11-assist double-double.
Thompson dribbled to his left toward the middle of the lane, cut back to his right and sliced to the basket with a right-handed layup that danced around the rim before falling through to give the Statesmen an 81-80 lead.
The Redhawks (2-3) got off a pair of shots in the final seven seconds that would have put the visitors in front, but senior forward Sean Peer blocked senior forward Devin Grimes’ attempt in the low post with 1.4 seconds to go and first-year forward Tyrel Dixon got off a mid-range jumper to the left of the basket just ahead of the final horn, but it was too strong off the back of the rim.
The Statesmen (2-2) got several good looks at the end of the first overtime that could have ended the contest. Junior guard Joe Gibbons got an open look underneath, but went across the rim where junior forward Richie Bonney tipped it back the other way, but to no avail.
After William Kemp-Harris converted a layup with 3:55 left in regulation, RWC was up four, 64-60. Thompson knocked down a pair of free throws with 2:53 left on the clock to trim the deficit to two. Kemp-Harris missed a 3-pointer at the other end of the floor setting up Bonney’s game-tying layup, assisted by Thompson, with 2:03 to go. Hobart also had the final look at the basket in regulation, getting the ball to Bonney for a jumper, but the shot wouldn’t fall.
The Statesmen enjoyed the only double digit leads of the contest, early in the first half. Just 2:30 into the game, Hobart led 11-0 and still led 17-7 at the 14:14 mark. The Redhawks rallied with a 23-7 run that put them in front by six 4:32 before halftime. Bonney scored the final bucket before the intermission to send Hobart into the locker room down 36-33.
Bonney also posted a double-double on a game-high 23 points and a team-high 13 rebounds before fouling out with 1:26 left in the first OT. Gibbons chipped in 19 points and sophomore guard Connor Rehbaum netted a career-high 13 points, including three 3-pointers.
Grimes scored a game-high 23 points and pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds for RWC. Dixon and junior forward Patrick Downer added 14 points and 13 points, respectively. Downer also blocked three shots.
Both teams produced very similar stat lines, but Hobart earned its win at the free throw line, converting 15-of-22 (.682) while Roberts was 12-of-24 (.500). The Redhawks has a slim 43-42 edge on the glass and committed two more turnovers than the Statesmen.
Hobart advances to Friday’s semifinals where the Statesmen will face Nazareth, a 70-64 winner over Geneseo tonight. The game is scheduled to tip off at 6 p.m. at the University of Rochester. Roberts Wesleyan will visit Geneseo on Friday for an 8 p.m. start.