The University of Rochester men's basketball team picked up a key early season regional win, defeating visiting Hobart College 81-63 on Tuesday evening at the Louis Alexander Palestra.
Rochester pushes its record to 4-0 on the year, while Hobart, the preseason favorite in the Liberty League, slips to 1-2.
The Yellowjackets showcased their tremendous depth yet again, with nine players scoring six or more points, led by sophomore Ryan Algier who scored a career-high 11 points, adding 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 blocked shots. Alexander Gamble was the only other Yellowjacket in double figures, scoring 10 points.
Ryan Clamage finished with 9 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists, while Trent Noordsij scored nine as well. Patrick Benka, Michael Mangan and Andrew Lundstrom each had eight while Jacob Wittig and Brendan O'Shea chipped in six apiece.
Hobart's leading scorers were Dan Masino and Colin Dougherty who each scored 12 points. Tucker Lescoe and Edens Fleurizard scored nine points for the Statesmen.
Some cold Hobart shooting in the early going had the Yellowjackets out to a quick double-digit lead eight and a half minutes into the game. Hobart started just 2-12 from the floor while Rochester was 7-15 in the same span, building a 17-5 margin.
Rochester had the Statesmen doubled up at 28-14 following an O'Shea three and a tip-in from Algier. At intermission UR held a 47-23 lead. Over the opening 20 minutes, Hobart was just 5-23 (22%) from the floor, compared to Rochester's 52% (17-33).
For the game, the Yellowjackets ended up shooting 51% from the floor, 29-57, while Hobart shot better in the second half and improved to 37% (21-57) for the full 40 minutes.
In the second half, Rochester used an 8-1 spurt to build a 25-point cushion with under 10 minutes on the clock. Benka sank two free throws, assisted on an Algier layup, Algier then had a nice drive and slam and Mangan provided a steal and score in the spurt for the Yellowjackets.
Hobart then scored seven straight points, six from Masino, to get within 18, the closest the Statesmen came the rest of the way.
After the holiday, UR returns to action hosting the 34th annual Holiday Inn Rochester Downtown Thanksgiving Tournament, playing Elmira College on Saturday game slated to tip at 5 pm. The other two teams in the tournament, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Montclair State University, square off at 7 pm.