20th-ranked Skidmore downs Knights, 77-60
Saratoga Springs, NY – A 10-minute scoreless drought in the second half proved to be the undoing of the Clarkson University Men's Basketball team as the Golden Knights fell 77-60 to 20th-ranked Skidmore College in Liberty League action on Saturday afternoon.
The Golden Knights dropped to 2-4 on the season and 0-2 in the Liberty League, while the Thoroughbreds remained unbeaten at 6-0 and 2-0 in conference games. Clarkson will look to get back on track with a pair of non-league games this week against SUNY Canton (Tuesday) and Cazenovia (Saturday).Skidmore netted the first six points of the game, but the Knights woke up quickly and scored nine straight. The Thoroughbreds six-point lead in the first two minutes would prove to be the largest advantage for either team in the half as the two squads jostled back and forth for the remainder of the half. Following Clarkson's 9-0 run, Skidmore came back and took a four-point lead on two occasions. Down 20-16, the Knights got a bit of a charge off the bench from Malaquias Canery, who helped Clarkson take the lead with a layup and a 3-pointer on consecutive possessions. Clarkson edged up by three after a pair of free throws from Roburt Welch at 8:40, but that was the largest lead the Knights would have as Skidmore countered a few minutes later with back-to-back 3-pointers from Jack Byrne and Jack Morrow and the Thoroughbreds finished with a four-point lead at the break.
Both teams were nearly identical in their effort from the field, with Clarkson shooting 12-for-29 and Skidmore going 12-for-28. Malaquias Canery finished with nine points in eight minutes and Liam Ellis kicked in eight points for the Knights. Edvinas Rupkus led the Thoroughbreds with eight points in the first half, as eight different players scored for Skidmore in the opening 20 minutes.
Early on in the second half, Skidmore extended its advantage to 10 (48-38) on a pair of free throws from Dakpe Yiljep, but Clarkson kept things close with 3-pointers from Liam Ellis, Matt Higgins and Matthew Hornak, cutting the margin down to five with 13:19 remaining in the game. Hornak's 3-pointer would be the last Clarkson make for quite some time, unfortunately, as nothing seemed to fall for the Knights. Skidmore took full advantage, going on a 16-1 run before Clarkson finally took the lid off the rim when Malaquias Canery hit a 17-foot jumper at the top of the key with 3:25 to go. That basket only reduced the deficit to 18, however, and Skidmore cruised down the stretch to earn the win.
For the first time all season, Clarkson made fewer than 10 3-pointers, scoring just six times on 21 shots from beyond the arc. Malaquias Canery, Liam Ellis and Matt Higgins each finished with 11 points for Clarkson. Edvinas Rupkus led the Thoroughbreds with 18 points, shooting 5-for-13 from the field and 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Pat Gallagher and Dakpe Yiljep each added in 10 points for Skidmore.