Breaking a four game losing streak, the Hartford Hawks walked away with a much needed win against the Binghamton Bearcats. Their recent, four-straight losses would put any team in a low moral situation, but losing their best player to an injury too? Hartford needed a boost to keep them floating in the America East standings, and it's possible that this win is it.
Normally, you would expect one of the many seniors on Hartford's roster to pick up the slack during Mark Nwakamma's absence, particularly Corban Wroe. Wroe has certainly proved he can be the leader on the court they need. But no one was expecting a freshman to be the one to hold the team together.
Having only played seven games prior to Tuesday night and averaging just 1.9 points per game, Jack Hobbs went 4-for-5 from beyond the arc to net a team-high 12 points that took many people by surprise.
That is everyone but Hartford coach John Gallagher. He had been touting Hobbs' abilities since before he stepped on the court.
"I thought he was really, really good for us," he said.
But it wasn't just Hobbs doing all the work, Sophomore Justin Graham completed his fifth game in double digits with 11 points, six rebounds and four assists.
"The guy I think who played the game was Justin Graham," Gallagher said. "He's changed our team in certain ways: his versatility, his toughness. It's almost like you can't take him off the floor, he's that good for us right now."
The upperclassman did pull their share of the weight too, though. Wes Cole hit two 3-pointers when the Hawks really needed it, and made the final two free throws to give them a four-point edge. Taylor Dyson hit a three in front of the bench to get everyone fired up and Nate Sikma brought in seven rebounds, two steals and nine points.
The Hawks have an entire week to prepare for the New Hampshire Wildcats, the team above them in the America East standings.