The Hobart College basketball team won its seventh game in a row and school record 22nd of the season 73-53 over Union College to advance to the championship game of the Liberty League Tournament. The Statesmen used a 26-6 finishing run to break open the contest.
Senior forward Matt Pebole led Hobart with his fifth double-double of the season on a game-high 21 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Junior guard Stefan Thompson made a bid for a triple-double, posting 14 points, 12 assists, and six rebounds. Sophomore guard Joe Gibbons scored 19 points on 9-of-13 shooting.
For the Dutchmen, junior forward Keven Donohue notched 13 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Junior guard Joe Mason was the only other Union player to reach double digits, finishing with 11 points.
In a hotly contested first half, neither team led by more than five points. The Statesmen carried a 35-30 edge into halftime by shooting 55.6 percent from the floor, while limiting the Dutchmen to 39.3 percent. Gibbons led all scorers at the break with 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting.
Nine minutes into the second half, junior guard Matt Petrone made a pair of free throws to put the Dutchmen up 47-45. Sophomore forward Richie Bonney tied the game with a layup at the end of the floor. It was the 13th and final tie of the game.
Back on defense, first-year guard Connor Rehbaum stepped in front of a Union pass near the top of the key and raced down the floor for a fast break layup. That play was followed by seven straight points from Pebole to give Hobart a 56-47 lead.
It was a 10-point contest with just over five minutes remaining, but another 9-0 Statesmen surge put the game out of reach. Pebole capped that run with a traditional 3-point play.
Hobart (22-4) shot 55.6 percent from the floor and limited the Dutchmen (16-9) to 38.5 percent shooting. The Statesmen also enjoyed a 36-23 rebounding advantage.
Hobart will host Skidmore, a 76-67 winner of St. Lawrence tonight, in the Liberty League Championship on Saturday, Feb. 25. Game time will be announced on Thursday.