The Hobart College basketball team needed less than six minutes to build a seven-point lead over visiting Skidmore College and from that point on led by at least two possessions en route to a 65-51 Liberty League victory. Senior Stefan Thompson led the Statesmen to their fifth straight win with game-highs of 23 points and five assists.
Thompson was 7-of-13 from the floor with three 3-pointers and enjoyed a perfect 6-for-6 showing at the free throw line. Senior Rezin Davis scored a season-high 10 points for the second game in a row. The Liberty League’s leading scorer, junior Richie Bonney, was limited to seven points, but made his presence felt with a game-high 12 rebounds, a career-high five steals, and two blocked shots.
First-year Aldin Medunjanin led Skidmore with 16 points, including 10-of-12 from the free throw line, and eight rebounds. Classmate Tanner Brooks, despite foul trouble, added 11 points. Sophomore Connor Merrill had a game-high five blocked shots.
Hobart (13-6, 9-1) controlled the glass, enjoying a 40-32 rebounding edge, and outscored Skidmore 18-3 in second chance points. The Statesmen shot 40.7 percent from the floor, went 6-of-13 from long range, and converted 15-of-22 free throws. The Thoroughbreds (14-7, 8-4) shot just 29.8 percent from the floor, missed all 16 of their 3-point tries, and scored nearly as many points from the charity stripe (23-of-28) as it did from the field (28 pts, 14-of-47).
After staking a 13-6 lead on a 3-pointer by Thompson, Hobart never let its lead dip below six points. Sophomore Nanribet Yiljep made a pair of free throws for Skidmore at the 9:23 mark that pulled the visitors to within six, 20-14, but a 7-1 run by the Statesmen stretched their lead to a first half high of 12, 27-15. The Thoroughbreds scored the game’s next six points to again make it a six-point game, but Thompson floated home a running jumper in the lane just ahead of the buzzer for a 29-21 halftime lead.
Madunjanin had 10 points at the break while Thompson paced Hobart with nine.
After the intermission, Skidmore twice closed to within six, but senior Sean Peer made a pair of free throws to push the Statesmen in front by eight. Kevin Dahill made two freebies to bring it back to six, but Davis dialed up back-to-back triples to extend the Hobart lead into double digits. Three straight points got the Thoroughbreds within nine, but junior Joe Gibbons converted an old fashion 3-point play to put the Statesmen up 12. Hobart’s edge remained in double digits for the rest of the game.
Hobart will be back on the court on Tuesday, Feb. 5, when the Statesmen host Union (17-3, 9-2). Tipoff in Bristol Gym is scheduled for 7 p.m. Skidmore’s next game is at home on Tuesday at 8 p.m., when St. Lawrence heads to Saratoga Springs.