Potsdam, NY – Junior Marques Charlton (Deer Park, NY) had a flawless first half and finished with a career-high 32 points as the Clarkson University Men’s Basketball team held on for a 75-67 victory over Vassar College in Liberty League action Saturday afternoon at Alumni Gymnasium.
The Golden Knights improved to 10-3 overall and evened their mark at 2-2 in the Liberty League, while the Brewers fell to 5-7 overall and 1-2 in conference games. Clarkson will host St. Lawrence at 8:00 pm on Tuesday night.
For the second straight night, Clarkson came out strong offensively. In the last two games, Vassar had allowed only 47.5 points per game against its opponents, but the Golden Knights poured in 42 in the opening 20 minutes thanks to shooting 63.0% from the floor. Clarkson was scoring at an even greater clip in the early going, making 13 of its first 18 attempts from the field (72.2%), forcing the Brewers to take a full timeout with just under seven minutes to go, trailing by 12. Marques Charlton was the key reason for the break, as he didn’t miss a shot, going 6-for-6 from the field, including three 3-pointers, en route to 17 points. Most impressively, Charlton scored 10 of Clarkson’s first 12 points in the opening four minutes.
The high shooting percentage came from Clarkson’s normal ball distribution, finding the open man underneath for easy lay ups. The Knights had 15 assists on their first 17 field goals. Vassar was a bit more deliberate, getting to the rim but not finishing. However, the Brewers had their chances, snagging 13 offensive rebounds.
In the second half, the Knights suddenly couldn’t buy a basket, allowing the Brewers to get back into the contest. Clarkson made just one of its first seven shots from the field, and Vassar crawled back to within four points at the 13:10 mark. The Knights then went on a 10-0 run to increase their lead back up to 14 points, but the Brewers simply would not go away, thanks in large part to the inside play of John Donnelly. After a missed free throw and a put back, Vassar was back to within three points.
Clarkson maintained at least a three-point advantage, and was up by four late when Charlton buried a 3-pointer to extend the Knights lead to a less tenuous amount. Despite the best efforts from Vassar, Clarkson made all its free throws down the stretch and claimed an eight-point victory.
Charlton shot 10-for-15 overall and 8-for-8 from the free throw line for his career-best 32 points, while Jerry Coleman (Potsdam, NY) added 20 points, six rebounds and six steals, including an incredibly acrobatic theft that gave Clarkson an extra possession late in the contest. Nate Uline (Gansevoort, NY) chipped in nine points, missing only once of his five attempts from the field.
Donnelly finished with 20 points off the bench to lead Vassar, while Curtis Smith scored some key baskets for the Brewers in the second half to finish with 17 points. Luka Ladan was 5-for-6 from the field for 10 points.