The Statesmen (22-7) put up numbers that would strike most as a winning formula, shooting nearly 50 percent from the floor, making 8-of-14 from 3-point range, and sinking 75 percent of its free throws. Hobart also committed a season-low five turnovers for the second night in a row.
However, the Mustangs (21-8) shot 56 percent from the floor, 64 percent from deep and made 23-of-24 free throws while owning a 36-19 advantage on the glass.
Hobart senior forward Richie Bonney added 24 points and five rebounds to his impressive legacy. A finalist of the Jostens Trophy, he raised his school career scoring record 1,738 points. Senior guard Joe Gibbons also had a strong night with 19 points and a game-high six assists. He finished 19th on Hobart’s career scoring list with 1,092 points (1,293 overall including 201 points at Rensselaer as a first-year).
Junior guards Connor Rehbaum and Trey Blanding added 15 and 12 points, respectively. Rehbaum made 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, to raise his season total to 61 triples, sixth on the Hobart single season list.
Morrisville also had four players reach double figures led by Brandon Hanks 18 points. Tom Wilk had a double-double on 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
Hobart led by as many as five in the first half, but the Mustangs closed the session on a 15-6 run that sent them into the break up 42-35.
The Statesmen opened the second half on a 15-7 run that put the Statesmen in front by one, 50-49. The teams traded the lead back-and-forth over the next three minutes, with Morrisville reclaiming the lead for good on a jumper by Kucjok Ater at 13:52. Hobart misfired on its next two looks at the basket and then Will Thomas drained a 3 to make it a two possession game.
After the Mustangs stretched their lead to seven, Hobart pushed back, getting within two on a Bonney 3-pointer at 6:56. Jordan Prior responded for Morrisville with back-to-back 3-pointers that gave the Mustangs a 70-62 lead with 5:24 left.
The Statesmen made one last push, closing the gap to five with 2:06 to go, but Morrisville went 12-for-12 at the line down the stretch to close out the win.
During Bonney’s four seasons on campus, Hobart posted four consecutive 20-win seasons and won four straight Liberty League regular season titles. In three seasons as teammates, Bonney and Gibbons made three consecutive NCAA Championship appearances, reaching the second round in 2012 and 2014. They also won back-to-back Liberty League Tournament titles to cap their careers.
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