The Hobart basketball team erased a three-point halftime deficit with a strong second half for a 73-56 win over Roger Williams University in the first round of the Merchant Marine Academy Tournament. The Statesmen shot 50 percent from the floor and committed just four turnovers after the intermission, outscoring the Hawks 45-20.
Hobart (5-3) trailed 36-32 early in the second half, but used a 14-4 run to take the lead for good. Five different Statesmen scored during the surge, while the Hawks (7-3) went more than seven minutes between field goals (all four points came from the line).
Stefan Thompson took the drama out of the stretch run. With Hobart protecting a five-point lead, he scored 10 of the game’s next 12 points to put the Statesmen up 61-46 advantage with 6:30 remaining.
Matt Pebole led all scorers with 19 points on 9-of-14 shooting. Thompson added 11 points and a game-high seven rebounds, while Tim Llewellyn recorded 11 points and a game-high five steals, one more than the Hawks’ team total. Mark Bruce and Greg Stern both turned in 10-point performances as well.
Not only was Hobart’s offense clicking in the second half, the defense was strong too. The Statesmen limited Roger Williams to 27.8 percent shooting (after the Hawks hit 66.7 percent in the first 20 minutes) and forced 10 turnovers.
Hobart needed the opening half to shake off the rust from a 23-day layoff. The Statesmen shot just 36.1 percent and made 10 turnovers before the break, but never trailed Roger Williams by more than four.
Pat Flanagan led the Hawks with 16 points, six rebounds, and two blocked shots.
Hobart will meet Merchant Marine in the tournament championship at 3 p.m. on Jan. 3. Fans can watch the game or listen to streaming audio online, courtesy of the host Mariners.