The Hobart College basketball team scored the final eight points of the game to pull out an 80-76 Liberty League win over visiting Union College in Bristol Gym this afternoon. Jackson Meshanic led the Statesmen to victory with game-highs of 34 points and 10 rebounds.
Meshanic’s fifth double-double of the season included a career-high scoring effort. He was 12-of-17 shooting with three 3-pointers and a perfect 7-for-7 at the free throw line. His marksmanship helped Hobart shoot 54.5% from the floor, including 8-of-16 from 3-point range. Aidan Rodgers added 14 points. The Statesmen dominated the boards, outrebounding the visitors 42-19.
Union’s offense centered on Mike Manley and Brian Noone. Manley produced a team-high 28 points, canning seven 3-pointers, a team-high five rebounds and a game-high four steals. Noone scored 22 points. The Dutchmen shot 44.4% from the field, including 9-of-26 from beyond the arc.
The 114th all-time meeting of the conference foes was a back-and-forth affair that featured nine lead changes and nine ties. An old fashion 3-point play by Meshanic gave Hobart the biggest lead of the game for either team, 59-51, with just over nine minutes left in the game.
Union wiped out that advantage with 10 straight points. Manley opened and closed the run with 3-pointers, tying the game at 61 with six and half minutes remaining. With barely a minute run off the clock, the Statesmen pushed back into the lead, grabbing a 68-61 advantage following Andrew Lynch’s 3-pointer.
The Dutchmen made another big push, going on a 15-4 run that gave them a four-point lead. Manley’s midrange jumper with less than two minutes to play put Union up 76-72.
Hobart’s comeback started with a 3-pointer by Rodgers. The Statesmen got the ball back when Carter Meshanic (4 pts, 5 rebs, 3 assts) took a charge. Hobart reclaimed the lead on a driving layup by Jack Lesure (7 pts, 7 rebs) with about 30 seconds left.
Union missed a three, but kept possession and called a timeout, but the Dutchmen turned the ball over when they failed to connect on the inbounds pass. Pat Healy made 1-of-2 at the line with 14 seconds to go, but the miss left the door open for the Dutchmen. Justin Regis attempted a layup with under 10 seconds to play, but Patrick Walker swatted the try and Jackson Meshanic secured the rebound. He was fouled with seven seconds left and made both of his free throws to ice the victory.
The first half was every bit as exciting as the finish. There were five lead changes and four ties, with Hobart going into the locker room up 36-34 thanks to Jackson Meshanic’s short jumper with five seconds left. He led all scorers with 16 first half points.
Hobart will be back in action at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18, when the Statesmen host Skidmore (5-4, 1-2).