In a defensive slugfest, 19th-ranked Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute eked out a 59-58 win over Hobart College in Bristol Gym on Friday night. The back-and-forth affair featured 18 lead changes and eight ties, with Avery Eugster giving the Engineers the lead for the final time with 0.9 seconds remaining.
The heart-breaking ending cast a cloud over Statesman senior Jackson Meshanic’s 1,000th career points. He entered the game 15 points shy of the milestone and hit the mark on the nose with a short hook shot that put Hobart in front 58-57 with 12.3 seconds left. The 31st Statesmen to reach that mark, Meshanic finished the game with his sixth double-double of the season on a team-high 15 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
After a timeout with 3.3 seconds to go, RPI (6-1, 1-0 Liberty League) got the ball inside to Eugster, who muscled his way into the paint and got just enough elevation on his shot to clear the rim for the lead. Hobart inbounded with a three-quarters of the length of the court pass to the top of the arc but wasn’t able to get a shot off before time expired.
- Neither team led by more than six points in the game.
- The Statesmen entered the contest second in the nation in rebounding margin and again controlled the glass. Hobart outrebounded the Engineers 35-26.
- After shooting just 33.3% from the floor in the first half, the Statesmen connected on 60.9% in the second half (46% for the night).
- Turnovers proved costly for Hobart. The Statesmen committed 16 to the Engineers’ 7. RPI parlayed that into a 19-3 advantage in points off turnovers.
- In addition to Meshanic, Patrick Walker and Aidan Rodgers also reached double digits. Walker logged 11 points and seven boards, while Rodgers added 10 points and a team-high four assists.
- Andrew Lynch went 3-of-6 from 3-point range for nine points.
- Carter Meshanic added eight points and six rebounds.
- Jonny Angbazo led all scorers with 17 points, including three 3-pointers.
- Will Rubin scored 14 points, Eugster netted 13, and Dom Black recorded 10 points, a team-high eight rebounds, and four assists.
- Hobart (5-3, 1-1) will be back on the court Saturday at 4 p.m., hosting Vassar (4-1, 1-0). The Brewers got a tip-in at the buzzer for a 75-73 win at Ithaca on Friday night.