The Hobart College basketball team led visiting Ithaca College for nearly 28 minutes Friday, but the Bombers rallied in the final 10 minutes to escape Bristol Gym with a 73-65 Liberty League victory.
The Statesmen led by as many as 11 midway through the first half and enjoyed a 32-27 halftime lead. At the midpoint of the second half, Hobart was still clinging to a 47-46 lead, but turnover and second chance opportunities proved to be the home team’s undoing.
Ithaca posted 28 points off Hobart’s 21 turnovers, compared to just six Statesmen points off 12 Bombers’ turnovers. Hobart had a 49-32 rebounding advantage, but Ithaca outscored Hobart 15-7 on second chance opportunities.
Aidan Rodgers led the Statesmen with 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including a pair of threes, and 5-for-5 at the free throw line. Jackson Meshanic produced 14 points and eight rebounds off the bench. Pat Healy finished with 11 points. Jack Lesure grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
Luka Radovich scored 20 points to pace the Bombers. Andrew Geschickter netted 14 points while Skylar Sinon and Triston Wennersten both logged 10 points. Sinon also notched game-highs with six assists and five steals.
Hobart built the biggest lead of the game for either team during the middle of the first half. Radovich scored a layup to make it a 13-11 game with just over 14 minutes to go to halftime. The Statesmen countered with six straight points and an 11-2 run over the next five minutes that gave them a 24-13 lead. Healy started the push with a layup and later drained a triple. Meanwhile, Ithaca went just 1-of-8 from the floor.
The Bombers scored six straight to start the second half, wiping out the Statesmen lead, but Rodgers dialed in from distance to put Hobart back in front. The Statesmen managed to hold that edge at one or two possessions over the next five minutes, but couldn’t find any breathing room.
Ithaca took the lead for good when Sinon found a path to the basket for two and a 48-47 lead with 9:43 remaining. That touched off a 12-3 run for the Bombers turning a one-point deficit into a six-point lead.
Hobart countered with four straight points by Rodgers followed by a pair of free throws from Lesure. That cut Ithaca’s lead to two, 58-56. Sinon again scored on a drive down the lane to make it a two-possession game and then Liam Spellman and Radovich drove to the rim, to make it 65-56 with under three minutes to play. Spellman and Radovich’s buckets were both off Statesmen turnovers.
Hobart got within five twice down the stretch, but got no closer.
Hobart (5-9, 2-5) will be back in Bristol Gym Saturday at 4 p.m., hosting RIT (6-9, 4-5). The Tigers lost 75-68 at Skidmore tonight. Ithaca (11-6, 7-3) will head East to take on league leader RPI (14-2, 8-1) tomorrow.