The home stretch is appropriately named for the Clarkson University Women's Basketball team, as the final three games of the 2013-14 season will be played in Potsdam at Alumni Gymnasium, starting on Tuesday when the Golden Knights take on St. Lawrence.
In the first meeting of the season, Clarkson (8-13 overall, 3-10 Liberty League) held its own against one of the elite teams in the Liberty League, falling late 62-49. Clarkson out rebounded St. Lawrence that night by 15 (45-30), and had 21 offensive rebounds in the contest. If the Knights can convert on a few more of those putbacks the second time around, the outcome could be different for the Green and Gold.
The match up on Tuesday pits two of the top defensive teams in the Liberty League. In fact, the two squads ranks first and second in points allowed (SLU - 56.9 ppg, Clarkson - 57.8 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (SLU - 32.9%, Clarkson - 34.9%). The two teams go about their defenses somewhat differently, however, as the Saints (15-7 overall, 11-2 Liberty League) lead the conference in blocked shots (6.05 bpg) and Clarkson is at the top of the leaderboard in steals (10.0 spg) and turnover margin (+2.38).
In the first game of the season, freshman Katelyn Curtis (Leicester, NY) led the team with 12 points and added in six rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench, while Ashley Loggins (Albany, NY) and Cara Manfredi (Glastonbury, CT) each chipped in 11 points. Loggins is having a solid follow up to her Liberty League Rookie of the Year campaign of 2012-13 by averaging 15.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 2.3 steals per game. St. Lawrence doesn't have a go-to scorer, receiving points from numerous sources, but Kara McDuffee still has a respectable average, producing 13.2 points per game, which ranks 12th in the conference. Her 10.0 rebounds per contest are third in the league. Kelly Legg is 15th in the conference in scoring at 12.2 points per game and is ninth in rebounding at 7.8 rpg. Legg is also a key part of the team's defense, blocking a league-leading 2.7 shots per game. The duo combined for 35 points in the first contest against Clarkson.