Skidmore upsets Hobart in Liberty League championship game
GENEVA, N.Y.—Senior guard Terron Victoria (Bishop Maginn/Albany, N.Y.) made a pair of huge 3-pointers in the final two minutes to propel second seeded Skidmore College to a 69-66 upset of top seeded Hobart College in the championship game of the Liberty League tournament. He shared game-high honors with 16 points and was named the tournament MVP.
Senior guard Gerard O'Shea (Averill Park/W. Sand Lake, N.Y.) also netted 16 points and dished out a game-high eight assists for the Thoroughbreds to earn All-Tournament honors. Senior guard Brian Lowry (West Hartford, Conn.) chipped in 10 points. Senior guard John Mantas (CBA/Niskayuna, N.Y.) had six points and a team-high five rebounds. He was also named to the All-Tournament Team on the strength of his 23-point outburst in the tournament semifinals.
The defending conference champion, Skidmore raised its record to 19-8, a new school mark for wins in a season. The Thoroughbreds, who get an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, shot 55.3 percent from the floor, including 8-of-18 from 3-point range.
For Hobart, senior forward Matt Pebole (Red Bank, N.J.) and sophomore guard Joe Gibbons (St. John the Baptist/Lindenhurst, N.Y.) both scored 16 points while Gibbons and junior forward Sean Peer (Colonie/Albany, N.Y.) shared game-high honors with eight rebounds apiece. Junior guard Stefan Thompson (CBA/Syracuse, N.Y.) recorded 12 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Senior guard Greg Stern contributed 11 points. The Statesmen shot 43.9 percent from the floor, including 4-of-11 from long range, and converted 12-of-13 free throw attempts.
The loss snapped the Statesmen's seven-game winning streak, one shy of the school record. Now at the mercy of the NCAA Championship selection committee, Hobart ends the season with a 22-5 record, besting the school marks for wins and winning percentage in a season.
After taking a 30-28 lead into halftime, Skidmore used a 12-2 run early in the second half to build the biggest lead of the game for either side, 49-38, with 13 minutes remaining. Hobart used a 13-3 run late in the half to trim the Thoroughbreds lead to 58-57 with 3:39 left. Just over a minute and a half later, Gibbons grabbed his sixth offensive board of the game and converted a layup to give the Statesmen their only lead of the second half, 59-58.
Victoria put Skidmore back in front with the first of his clutch 3-pointers. Sophomore forward Richie Bonney (Norwich/Norwich, N.Y.) tied the game for the eighth and final time with a layup at the other end of the floor, but Victoria gave the Thoroughbreds the lead for good with another long range jumper with just over a minute to go.
Skidmore went 5-for-6 from the free throw line in the final minute, but Hobart still hung tough and got off an off-balance shot to tie ahead of the final buzzer, but it missed the mark.
The 62-team NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship field will be announced on Monday, Feb. 27 on NCAA.com.