WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Ursinus College men's basketball team slogged through its worst offensive performance of the season in a 77-53 defeat at the hands of Hobart in the opening round of Catholic's Holiday Inn Tournament.
The Statesmen (9-1) lead all of Division III in field-goal percentage defense (.353) and showed why on Saturday night, suffocating the Bears' high-powered offense to a 30.6-percent showing. Ursinus, which had shot over 50 percent from the floor six times in its first nine games, had only been held below 47 percent once coming into the evening.
Ursinus will take on Manhattanville, which fell to the host Cardinals in the other contest, at 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Despite the overall struggles, the Bears (6-4) made their first three shots and jumped out to an early 7-3 lead as Ryan McTammey buried a 3-pointer and a jumper and Jimmy Kpadeh picked a Statesmen's pocket for an easy lay-up.
Ursinus continued to hold a slim lead midway through the first half, going ahead 14-11 when Trey Koehler found George Gordon for a jumper at the 10:40 mark. A steal-and-layup by Koehler and a pair of free throws from Bruce Edwards maintained that edge at 25-22 with just over five minutes remaining before halftime, but Hobart dominated the rest of the period, scoring on five straight possessions and ending the frame on a 13-0 run to go into the locker room ahead by 10.
The Bears trailed by just four (50-46) on a three-point play by Gordon with 11:07 to play, but another big Hobart run doomed them. The Statesmen reeled off 12 consecutive points and cruised from there.
Gordon and Ryan Hughes led Ursinus with 11 points apiece, with the former grabbing seven rebounds and the latter pairing four boards with four assists. McTamney finished with nine points, and Koehler added eight.
Edwards was a defensive dynamo, racking up a career-high six blocks to go with six points, six rebounds, and a pair of steals.
Dan Masino (25) and Andrew Lynch (17) combined for 42 points to pace Hobart.