Hobart earns first tournament win
Statesmen finish on 10-0 run to defeat Ohio Wesleyan
RADNOR, Pa. -- Hobart scored the final 10 points of the game to rally past Ohio Wesleyan 64-60 in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Statesmen earned the program's first NCAA tournament win despite its worst shooting performance of the season.
Sophomore guard Joe Gibbons scored a team-high 17 points, matching Joe Corbett's team-high performance against Brockport in the 2001 tournament, Hobart's only other NCAA appearance. Sophomore forward Richie Bonney notched his fifth double-double of the season with 13 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, surpassing Corbett's 12 boards against Brockport. Senior forward Matt Pebole added 11 points, including five consecutive during Hobart's comeback. Junior guard Stefan Thompson chipped in 10 points and shared game-high honors with five assists.
For the Battling Bishops, Tim Brady led all scorers with 20 points. Andy Winters and Marshall Morris logged 11 and 10 points, respectively. Greg White collected a team-high 11 rebounds, leading OWU to a 44-38 advantage on the glass.
Ohio Wesleyan (20-8) shot 45.3 percent from the floor while holding Hobart (23-5) to just 35 percent shooting. The Statesmen made up for it at the free-throw line, making more freebies (19) than the Bishops attempted (17). Hobart also did a better job of protecting the ball, committing just seven turnovers to 10 for OWU.
Winters converted a layup with 14:20 remaining in the first half that put Ohio Wesleyan up 10-9, a lead they wouldn't relinquish until the final minute of the game. The Battling Bishops led by as many as nine in both the first and second half, but the Statesmen refused to go away.
Brady's 3-pointer with 2:47 left in the contest gave OWU a 60-54 lead. Bonney answered with layup at the other end of the floor, but then both teams went cold for nearly two minutes. Pebole snapped Hobart out of its funk making his first field goal of the game with 39 seconds remaining. The senior then stole the inbounds pass and earned a trip to the free-throw line. He made the first to close the gap to just one at 60-59, but missed the second.
Fortunately, Bonney grabbed the offensive rebound, his sixth offensive board of the night. With the second chance, the Statesmen got the ball back to Pebole who slashed to the basket for a layup and a 61-60 lead with 29 seconds left. Hobart had to hold its breath while Brady took a shot, but it was off the mark and Gibbons secured the rebound.
Thompson made two free throws to extend the lead to three with 8.2 seconds left. OWU turned the ball over on its ensuing possession and senior guard Greg Stern (9 pts, 4 rebs, 3 assts) closed out the game by making 1-of-2 at the line with 1.7 left.