By Tommy Schaffer
As the season winds down, Union is looking to finish strong.
After coming off two heartbreaking losses to Clarkson and St. Lawrence in late January, the Dutchmen bounced back.
Union began to climb back up the Liberty League after starting league play with a 2-5 record. Over the next five games, the Dutchmen won their games by an average of 15 points per game. These wins included a blowout against Bard and a shootout with rival RPI. Union played well in all five of their games, building their leads and keeping their opponents from gaining ground.
With the momentum building for the Dutchmen (7-6, 14-7), they looked to take down Liberty League leader Hobart (12-2, 19-4) at the Viniar Center. Union lost to them earlier in the season by 22 at Hobart’s home court.
Union began the game strong, jumping to a 14 point lead in the first half. Going into halftime, the Dutchmen compiled a 39-27 lead. Hobart came out strong in the second half going on a 16-2 run to gain a 48-47 advantage.
Hobart increased their lead over the Dutchmen by as many as seven points with about six minutes left. Within the next five minutes of the game, the Dutchmen came back to take a 58-57 lead. Terell Winney ‘15 eventually knocked down two clutch free throws to give the Dutchmen a 60-59 edge with 20 seconds left. Union fouled Hobart as they had a foul to give. This left Hobart with 11 seconds left to put the ball in the basket. Unfortunately for Union, Greg Stern nailed a three pointer with 0.1 seconds left to lift Hobart over Union.
Rusmir Dzanko ‘12 led Union in scoring with 17 points while Keven Donohue ‘13 added 14 more. Joe Mason ‘13 grabbed seven rebounds and dished out six assists as well.
This loss snapped Union’s five-game winning streak. In Union’s last three losses they lost by two points, one of them being in overtime. Five of their seven losses have come by five points or fewer this season.
The loss puts the Dutchmen at fifth place in the Liberty League. With upcoming games against fourth place Clarkson and third place Skidmore, Union has the chance to jump them in the standings. The Dutchmen will look to capitalize on Skidmore’s recent losing streak as they have dropped their last two games.
Union had beaten Skidmore a few weeks ago and is looking to sweep the season against them. The Dutchmen lost to Clarkson earlier this year in overtime by a margin of two points. With wins against both teams, they can potentially finish the season in third place.