Potsdam, NY - Senior Marques Charlton (Deer Park, NY) and junior John Coleman (Potsdam, NY) shot 80 percent from the floor combined in the second half to lift the Clarkson University Men's Basketball team to a 84-66 Liberty League win over Rensselaer Friday night at Alumni Gymnasium.
The Golden Knights improved to 11-8 overall and evened their conference mark at 5-5, while Rensselaer dropped to 7-13 overall and 5-6 in conference games. Clarkson will look to split the season series with Union College on Saturday.
Clarkson struggled with Rensselaer's defense in the early going as the constant ball pressure forced the Knights into some uncharacteristic miscues. But once the Knights got acclimated to the pressure in the early going, their ball distribution took over and made for some easy baskets around the perimeter and on the inside. Down by one with 12:17 remaining in the first half (17-16), the Knights scored 16 of the next 18 points to build a double-digit lead, thanks to some solid shooting from the perimeter and a strong effort from Christian Collette (Yalesville, CT) inside. Rensselaer started chipping away down the stretch, however, as Clarkson was held scoreless for the final four minutes of the half and went into the intermission with just a two-point lead.
The Engineers tied the game at 36-36 in the second half, but the Knights would not let them build any major momentum, always fighting off Rensselaer every time it got close after that. Up by four pointsat the 13:45 mark, Clarkson went on a 9-0 run in the next two minutes to rebuild a double-digit lead, and though that margin was dropped to six points in the next four minutes, the Knights ended the game on a 23-11 run, slowly building the lead with fastbreak layups and jumpers in the paint.
After shooting just 39.0% in the first half, Clarkson went 17-for-31 (54.8%) in the second half, making one more 3-pointer in the second half than in the first on nearly half the attempts. Coleman finished with a double-double on 24 points and 14 rebounds, going 11-for-16 from the field, and Charlton added in 23 points, eight rebounds, and five assists. Clarkson's bench played a key role as well as George Toyama (Altadena, CA) had five points and five assists, Christian Collette went 4-for-4 from the floor for eight points and five rebounds in 14 minutes, and Michael Hayduk (Clinton, NY) scored 11 points in 17 minutes. Overall, Clarkson had 27 assists on 33 baskets.
Rensselaer had 13 different players score points, led by Nick Keefe's 14 points. Chase Almond also added nine points and Josh Dugas and Jesus Cardenas each chipped in eight points.