The Hobart College basketball team fell to Buffalo State 77-67 tonight in the Sports Arena, in a contest that featured 10 lead changes and eight ties. The Statesmen slip to 3-8 overall, while the Bengals improve to 2-7 on the season.
First-year forward Matt Pebole led Hobart with 16 points (7-for-12) and five rebounds, while sophomore guard Mark Bruce added 15 points (7-for-9) and three steals. Sophomore forward Adam Salzmann grabbed a game-high 11 boards and chipped in nine points, and sophomore guards Rob Estep and Tim Llewellyn notched 13 and nine points, respectively.
Jamar Gray led the charge for Buffalo State, netting a game-high 27 points. A.J. White added 16, while Antonio Samedi recorded 13 points and three blocks.
The Statesmen jumped out to an early 15-8 lead, punctuated by a three-pointer from Llewellyn with over 14 minutes remaining in the first half. Back-to-back buckets from Gray cut the lead to three, but Bruce would answer with four straight points of his own to bring Hobart’s lead back to seven at the 11:45 mark.
The Bengals evened the game at 27-all with 6:28 left before the break, then grabbed a three-point advantage a few minutes later following a Samedi dunk. The Statesmen answered with four straight points, thanks to Llewellyn and Pebole, ending the stanza with a 35-32 lead.
After trading baskets to start the second half, Hobart went on a 13-2 run, seizing a 48-38 lead with 14:50 left on the clock. Bruce led the scoring flurry with seven points, while Estep converted a traditional three-point play, and Pebole added a good three-pointer.
The Bengals responded with a 16-4 run of their own over the next seven minutes, capped by two good free throws from James Tyndal, to push the hosts ahead 54-52. Buffalo State would not relinquish the lead for the remainder of the game.
The Statesmen tied the contest three more times, but the Bengals had the answer every time. Hobart cut its deficit to three, 70-67, after two points from Pebole with 1:44 remaining, but would come no closer. Tyndal and Gray combined to make five free throws down the stretch to ensure the win for the hosts.
The Statesmen will be back in action on Jan. 10, when they host Hamilton in the Liberty League opener for both teams at 8 p.m.