A 15-2 second half run propelled the Hobart College basketball team to a 64-54 Liberty League win at Clarkson University this afternoon in Alumni Gymnasium. The win keeps the Statesmen in first place with a 9-2 league record (16-4 overall) while bumps the Golden Knights from second place to fourth with a 7-4 conference mark (14-6).
The game was a show of contrasting styles, as Hobart deliberately pounded the ball inside while the Knights looked for shots on the perimeter. Both methods were effective in the first half, as Hobart shot 50 percent from the floor overall (15-for-30), but was even better when taking out its perimeter showing (1-for-7), and Clarkson was 5-for-7 from beyond the 3-point arc, but just 9-for-21 when shooting for two points.
The two teams went back and forth in the early going, but Hobart took a three-point advantage following a Matt Pebole lay in. Clarkson had its biggest lead following a three-point play on the fast break, finished off by John Coleman. The Statesmen enjoyed their largest lead of the half after their lone 3-pointer was converted by Rezin Davis, making the score 23-17. However, the Knights came back to tie things up before falling behind by two points at the half.
Richie Bonney was a force for Hobart on the interior with 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting while Pebole and Joe Gibbons also did work inside with eight points apiece. Felix Llanos went 3-for-3 from ling range for nine points and John Coleman had seven points, albeit on his worst shooting performance of the year at 3-for-9.
In the second half, Clarkson forged the sixth tie of the game on its first possession, but fell behind by four a few moments later. The Knights ran off eight straight points as Hobart went through a scoreless stretch that pushed Clarkson to a 44-40 lead at the 13:00 mark, causing the Statesmen to take a timeout.
The strategy session was a success as Hobart rattled off nine straight points out of the break and never relinquishing the lead. A layup from Nate Uline ended the run, but Hobart picked up right where it left off and scored six more points to take a nine-point lead. The Knights never gotten with in two possessions the rest of the way as the Statesmen made their free throws to secure the victory.
Bonney finished with a game-high 22 points and seven rebounds, Gibbons contributed 15 points and six boards, and Pebole added 12 points and two blocks. Davis handed out a game-high five assists.
Llanos led the Knights with 13 points, while Uline notched 12 points and seven rebounds. Coleman tossed in 11 points.
Hobart will be back in action on Tuesday, Feb. 7, when the Statesmen travel to Union (14-6, 7-5). Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.