Rochester, NY - Following a rough first half, the Clarkson University Men's Basketball team found its stroke by shooting 59 percent from the field in the second half to give the Golden Knights a 70-66 victory over Juniata College Saturday evening at the St. John Fisher Holiday Tournament.
The Golden Knights won its fourth straight game to improve to 7-1 overall and will play in the tournament's championship game at 3:00 pm on Sunday. Juniata fell to 8-3 on the season.
Both teams started out strong, combining for 26 points in the opening five minutes of the game, with the Knights trailing by four. Clarkson enjoyed a 10-2 run in the next five minutes to take a narrow advantage and the two teams traded scores for the next few minutes. The Eagles went on an 8-0 run late in the half and took their modest advantage to double figures, a margin that would be held until halftime with Juniata leading 39-29.
Clarkson shot only 9-for-32 (28.1 percent) in the first half, including four 3-pointers. Jerry Coleman (Potsdam, NY) led the team with nine points and John Coleman (Potsdam, NY) added in seven points and three rebounds. The Eagles shot a little better (14-for-30, 46.7%) overall, but were torrid from beyond the 3-point line, burying seven of their 10 attempts. Brian Scholly scored a game-high 18 points in the opening half, including a 4-for-5 effort from the 3-point line.
In the second half, Juniata held an 11-point edge (42-31) early, but Clarkson ran off a 14-2 run in the next three minutes to take the lead, capped off by a Marques Charlton (Deer Park, NY) lay up at 15:10. Neither team would enjoy much of a lead for the remainder of the game, with the Eagles ahead by as many as four points and Clarkson edging out by as many as five points. Each time, the team that was trailing would rally quickly to tie the game up or regain an advantage. The only time that wouldn't be true was in the waning moments. Clarkson pushed its advantage to five points on a 3-pointer from Charlton at the 1:53 mark (68-63). The Eagles would pull to within two points and had a chance to tie the game, but the Golden Knights were able to regain possession of the ball. Juniata was forced to commit numerous fouls in the final seconds to push Clarkson into the bonus in hopes of getting the ball back, but when the Knights were finally sent to the line, Charlton buried a pair of free throws with four seconds remaining to make it a two-possession game and Clarkson held on for the victory.
Jerry Coleman finished with a team-best 21 points, making five 3-point field goals, and added in five rebounds while his brother John Coleman tossed in 17 points while also producing five rebounds and five steals. Charlton was strong down the stretch and had 18 points total, shooting 6-for-12 from the field, to go along with four assists. The Knights shot 17-for-29 from the field (58.9%) in the second half.
For the Eagles, Scholly scored a game-high 27 points, making seven 3-point field goals in his 10-for-15 performance from the floor. Alex Raymond also chipped in 11 points.