The Hobart College basketball team defeated Rochester Institute of Technology 72-57 in Clark Gym to clinch the top seed in the Liberty League Tournament and extend its winning streak to a school record of nine games. The Statesmen improved to 17-6 overall, 13-1 in the conference while the Tigers fell to 8-15, 4-10.
Junior Richie Bonney led four Hobart players in double digits with a game-high 16 points. He also collected a game-high eight rebounds. Sophomore Connor Rehbaum added 15 points. Senior Sean Peer matched his career-high with 10 points and grabbed seven boards. First-year Cole Smothers contributed 10 points off the bench.
Junior Jameel Balenton registered team-highs with 13 points and four rebounds for RIT.
Late in the first half, Hobart scored nine unanswered points to turn a one-point edge into a double digit advantage. Peer got things started with consecutive layups followed by a 3-ball from Rehbaum. Sophomore guard Trey Blanding capped the run, giving the Statesmen a 29-19 lead. Balenton made a 3-pointer with 1:41 left in the half to make it a 32-29 game, but Rehbaum and senior Stefan Thompson scored the final four points of the half to send Hobart into the break with a 36-29 lead.
RIT made a free throw to open the second half scoring and close the gap to six, but the Statesmen countered with an 11-2 run to break the game open. Rehbaum led the charge with seven points. Hobart led by as many as 23 points down the stretch.
Hobart shot 52.8 percent from the floor on 28-of-53 shooting. The Statesmen went 6-of-15 from 3-point land and were 10-of-14 from the foul line. RIT shot 50 percent for the game (23-of-46). The Tigers were 5-of-16 from beyond the arc and 6-of-10 from the foul line.
Hobart will return home for its final two games of the regular season. The Statesmen host Clarkson at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15, and St. Lawrence at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16.