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Statesmen punch ticket to Liberty League title game

  • / Updated:
  • Kyle Evans 

In front of the biggest crowd of the season to fill Bristol Gym, the Hobart basketball team jumped out to an 8-0 lead and never looked back on its way to a 79-61 win over Rochester Institute of Technology in the semifinals of the Liberty League Tournament. The Statesmen put four players in double figures to return to the title game for the first time since 2019.

Junior Carter Meshanic led all scorers with 20 points on 10-of-11 shooting. Classmate Pat Healy was right behind him with 19 points on 9-of-16 shooting. Junior Aidan Rodgers chipped in 11 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, and a team-high four assists. Senior Isaiah Washington scored 10 points, making all three of his free throws.

The Tigers had only one player reach double figures, junior Josiah Turner. He was 9-of-16 from the floor on his way to 19 points and a team-high seven rebounds.

KEY STATS

  • The Statesmen enjoyed their best 3-point percentage of the season, making 7-of-15 from beyond the arc (.467). Hobart was 6-of-9 from deep in the first half.
  • The Statesmen also controlled the glass, outrebounding the Tigers 41-30.

FOR THE RECORD

  • Hobart improved to 21-5 on the season. Only three teams in the 113-season history of the program have had more wins in a season.
  • RIT drops to 14-13.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • The Statesmen came out hot, feeding off the energy of the crowd.
  • Meshanic made a layup to put Hobart on the board first. Senior Ryan Lucey (8 pts) and Rodgers followed with 3-pointers to make it 8-0 in the first two minutes of the game.
  • RIT stopped the run with a 3-pointer by senior Keegan Ocorr, but Meshanic and Healy made back-to-back buckets to push Hobart’s advantage to 15-5 just over four minutes into the game.
  • Washington’s 3-pointer at the 13:19 mark gave the Statesmen a 20-9 lead and, for the rest of the game, Hobart led by no fewer than 10 points.
  • The Statesmen led by as many as 21 in the first half, carrying a 41-26 lead into halftime. Meshanic led all scorers with 12 points in the opening 20 minutes.
  • RIT got Hobart’s lead down to 11 early in the second half, but only for a single possession and never got any closer.
  • The Statesmen led by as many as 27, 75-48 with 4:21 remaining, on the way to victory.

GAME NOTES

  • Tonight’s game was the 100th meeting between Hobart and RIT. The Statesmen earned their 48th win against the Tigers.
  • Hobart will be seeking its first Liberty League Tournament Championship since 2014. The Statesmen also won the title in 2013 and 2001.
  • Hobart leads the Liberty League in rebounding margin (+6.2). The Statesmen are especially tough on the glass in Bristol Gym, where their margin jumps up to +10.0.

TITLE TILT

  • The Liberty League Championship game is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25. Top-seeded Hobart will host second-seeded St. Lawrence, who defeated No. 3 Rensselaer 63-48 in the North Country tonight.
  • The Saints defeated the Statesmen 80-78 in overtime in the 2023 Liberty League Tournament Semifinals and went on to top RPI to secure the championship.