The Hobart basketball team leaned heavily on forward Matt Pebole during its Liberty League showdown at Hamilton tonight. The junior was up to the task, scoring a season-high 30 points to lead the Statesmen to a 70-67 victory over the Continentals.
Hobart (17-4, 9-1) shot 46.2 percent from the floor, including 8-of-16 3-pointers. The Statesmen uncharacteristically missed 10 free throws, but still made more from the stripe (14-of-24) than Hamilton attempted (10-13). The Continentals shot 49.1 percent from the floor and were 5-of-11 from beyond the arc.
For his part, Pebole was 10-of-15 shooting with a pair of 3s and 8-of-10 from the line. He also grabbed seven boards. Senior guard Tim Llewellyn also sank two 3-pointers and finished with nine points. Sophomore guard Stefan Thompson made a key 3-pointer and doled out a game-high five assists, while senior forward Adam Salzmann logged five points, a team-high eight rebounds, and a career-high matching four blocked shots.
Hamilton (12-7, 6-4) got 21 points and a game-high nine rebounds from Pat Sullivan, while Ephraim McDowell added 10 points.
The Continentals broke a 14-14 tie with a 13-2 run to build an 11-point lead, 27-16, with 5:17 remaining in the first half. The Statesmen were able to trim its deficit to just three by halftime, heading into the break down 35-32.
In the second half, neither team led by more than four points through the first 18 minutes of the session. Tied 61-all with 2:12 remaining, Hobart took advantage of a Hamilton tunover when Llewellyn set up a Pebole layup. With just under a minute left, the Continentals missed a 3-point try and Thompson grabbed the rebound. With 28 ticks remaining, he launched a 28-foot bomb to stretch Hobart’s lead to five, 66-61.
Ryan Wright brought the Continentals within two, 66-64, with another 3 with 22 seconds remaining. Llewellyn was fouled two seconds later, made the first free throw and missed the second for a three-point advantage. Hamilton missed an off-balance shot from the paint with less than 10 seconds left, and Junior guard Greg Stern grabbed the defensive rebound. The Statesman made three free throws in the final 5.5 seconds to clinch the victory.
Hobart will be back in action on Friday, Feb. 11, when the Statesmen visit Clarkson. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.