Hobart College will host the semifinals and championship of the Liberty League Men’s Basketball Tournament in Bristol Gymnasium this weekend. This will be the sixth time the Statesmen have hosted the tournament since the conference first sponsored a tournament in 2000.
The top-seeded Statesmen (21-4) will take on No. 5 seed Skidmore (14-11) in the first semifinal at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24. No. 2 seed Union (16-8) will face No. 3 seed RIT (14-12) in the second semifinal at 4:30 p.m. The championship game will tip off at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 25.
As the top two seeds, Hobart and Union received byes to the semifinals. Skidmore advanced to the semifinals with a 68-62 win over fourth-seeded Ithaca last night. RIT earned its spot in the semifinals with a 68-63 win over sixth-seeded Vassar.
The past seven Liberty League Tournament championships have been claimed by either the Statesmen (2013, 2014), the Thoroughbreds (2011, 2012, 2015, 2016) or the Dutchmen (2017). Each of the past five tournament titles have been won by the tournament host.
Hobart, which is No. 1 in the NCAA’s latest East Region rankings, won the Liberty League regular season title with a 16-2 record, four games clear of the runner-up. In the heart of the conference schedule, the Statesmen put together a program record 15-game winning streak. They are seeking their fourth conference tournament crown (2001, 2013, 2014).
Fourth-year Head Coach Tim Sweeney (67-36) manages a lineup that features four players averaging 12 or more points per game. Junior Colin Dougherty leads the offense with 16.9 ppg. Classmate Jamal Lucas adds 15.4 ppg as well as team-highs of 5.6 rpg and 2.2 spg. Sophomore Tucker Lescoe is the team’s top long-range marksman. He’s averaging 12.6 ppg with a team-high 67 3-pointers. First-year Dan Masino contributes 12.0 ppg and a team-high 3.1 apg.
The winner of the Liberty League Tournament will receive an automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship. The full 64-team bracket (43 automatic qualifiers and 21 at-large bids) will be announced on Monday, Feb. 26.
Spectators are asked to use one of the following campus parking lots: Barn Lot, Medbery North Lot, Odell’s South Lot or Scandling Center Lot. There will be no spectator parking in the Bristol Gym or Winn-Seeley parking lots.
William Smith basketball finished their season on Tuesday, Feb. 20 with a 15-11 record. Seven members of the William Smith basketball team were named to the 2017-18 Liberty League All-Academic Team.