Potsdam, NY - Stefan Thompson had his 20-foot jumper bounce off the front side of the rim and off the backboard as time expired as the Clarkson University Men's Basketball team held on for a 53-52 victory over Hobart College in Liberty League action Saturday afternoon at Alumni Gymnasium.
The Golden Knights improved to 12-4 overall and 4-3 in the Liberty League, ending a five-game homestand with four victories and just one loss. The Statesmen lost their first conference game of the season, moving to 8-6 overall and 4-1 in the Liberty League. Clarkson will face Skidmore College on Tuesday in Saratoga Springs.
The Statesmen started the game with back-to-back 3-point field goals from Richie Bonney and Connor Rehbaum and had 11 points in less than three minutes. Instead of being sunk by the early run, Clarkson responded by going on a 13-0 run of its own with a 3-pointer from Jerry Coleman (Potsdam, NY) and two more from Dylan Hodownes (Honeoye Falls, NY). With the game evened up, neither team pushed forward with much an advantage other than a brief six-point edge by the Statesmen following a jumper from Richie Bonney. Clarkson ended the half with a 13-4 run that gave the Knights a three-point edge at the break.
Bonney was nearly impossible to stop in the post for Hobart, scoring 15 first-half points on 7-for-9 shooting. Fortunately for Clarkson, Dylan Hodownes had a hot hand for the Knights making three 3-point field goals for 11 points.
Ealry in the second half, Clarkson extended its modest advantage to as many as eight points on three occasions, but Hobart continued to pound the ball inside to Bonney, who missed only one shot in seven second-half attempts. However, it was a jumper from Trey Blanding of Hobart that would give the Statesmen their only lead of the second half with just 2:52 remaining. That basket would be the final points for Hobart.
Clarkson didn't score much down the stretch either, however, taking the lead back with 1:12 to go on a pair of free throws from Jerry Coleman after he was fouled in the lane on a short jump shot. After a turnover from Stefan Thompson, Clarkson was able to hold on to the ball for the majority of the final minute of the game thanks to an offensive rebound from John Coleman (Potsdam, NY). Forced to foul, the Statesmen sent Marques Charlton (Deer Park, NY) to the line for a one-and-one, but the junior guard missed the front end and the ball went out of bounds for the Statesmen. On the final possession, the ball was worked around the perimeter as Clarkson was able to deny the post, and Hobart had to settle for an impromptu jumper from Thompson when the clock ran out.
An unexpectedly low-scoring game, both teams were held to season-lows. Neither team had been held below 60 points all season long.
For Clarkson, Hodownes came off the bench for a team-high 13 points as Clarkson's starters combined for the other 40 points, but very evenly distributed. Jerry Coleman and Felix Abongo (Beacon, NY) each had nine points.
Bonney finished with 28 points, shooting 13-for-16 from the floor, to go along with eight rebounds for Hobart as the team's only scorer in double-figures. THompson added seven points and seven assists.