The Ithaca College men’s basketball team fell to Hobart College 89–86 in a tightly contested Liberty League Conference battle Jan. 5.
The game was highlighted by senior forward Peter Ezema setting the college’s record for steals in a career. Ezema recorded four steals to bring his total to 183 steals, breaking the record set by Shaka Serville ’97 who held the previous record of 179 steals. Ezema has accomplished the record in only his 86th contest, while Serville set his mark in his 102nd collegiate game.
The Bombers had a strong first half and entered halftime with a comfortable 48–37 lead. However, the Statesmen jumped out to a 13–2 run to start the second half, and they tied the score at 50 with only 1:54 having transpired. The Bombers responded with five straight points to take a 55–50 lead after a jump shot from junior guard Sebastian Alderete and a three-pointer from Ezema.
The next five minutes contained a momentum shift towards the Bombers, as they were able to take a 70–60 lead with 11:31 remaining in the game, but Hobart went on another 13–2 run to take its first lead of the half at 73–72.
The teams traded points, including ties at 76–76 and 78–78, but the Statesmen scored six straight to take an 84–78 lead with under four minutes remaining. The Blue and Gold battled back to knot the score at 86 with 1:37 remaining.
The Statesmen regained the lead after a free throw, and the Bombers had three prime scoring opportunities but were unable to convert on any of them. The Statesmen put the game away with two more free throws in the final seconds.
Junior captain Riley Thompson led the Blue and Gold with 23 points, while Ezema followed him with 20 of his own. Sophomore forward Bryan Karl added 15 points from the bench.
The South Hill squad returns to action at 8 p.m. Jan. 8 to face the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.