The Ithaca College men’s basketball team dropped its second of the last three games with a 72–62 loss to the Hobart College Statesmen on Jan. 27.
The Bombers forced a few scoreless runs by the Statesmen — including a five–minute streak where the Bombers cut the lead from 17 to five — but ultimately, the Statesmen were able to hold out for a decisive Liberty League victory.
Statesmen sophomore guard Aidan Rodgers started the game out strong for Hobart, powering his team to an 8–2 lead in just two minutes thanks to back-to-back 3-pointers. Rodgers went on the shoot 4-for-4 from behind the arc in the half. The Bombers were led by sophomore guard Logan Wendell, who had 17 points and five rebounds, but tallied just 26 points from the rest of the starting five combined.
The first several minutes of the half made the game seem like it would be close all night, with junior guard Triston Wennersten hitting a 3-pointer right after checking in to give the Bombers a 16–13 lead with just under 13 minutes to play in the half. But when the clock hit five minutes remaining, the Bombers were still stuck at 16 points while the Statesmen had jumped to 26. At the end of the frame, the Bombers were down 36–24.
After the break, it seemed like more of the same — the Bombers hit a few big shots, but the Statesmen took a 47–30 lead four minutes in. However, the momentum shifted after junior guard Noah Downing earned a steal and a layup, starting a 12–0 run for the Bombers that lasted five minutes and brought the team within five points.
But it was too little, too late. The Statesmen got back on the scoreboard with a pair of free throws and went on to narrowly outscore the Bombers the rest of the way, 25–20, to take the 10-point win.
Wendell said after the game that, although the 12–0 run showed the fight that the team has, he knows the Bombers cannot win if they do not play that way the whole game.
“We didn’t do a good job of playing for a full 40 minutes,” Wendell said. “We played for sprints, but we didn’t play for a full 40 today, and you can’t really win games playing like that.”
The loss tightened the Liberty League conference standings, but the Bombers remain in first place and will take on the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at 4 p.m. Jan. 28 in the Ben Light Gymnasium.