The St. Lawrence University women's basketball team earned a 62-49 Liberty League victory on Tuesday evening over North Country rival Clarkson in the Burkman Gymnasium. The Saints were led by the trio of Kara McDuffee, Cassie St. Hilaire and Kelly Legg, who combined for 51 points en route to the victory.
The Saints remained unbeaten in the conference at 3-0 and improved to 6-5 overall. Clarkson falls to 6-4 (1-1) and has now dropped 23 straight games to the Scarlet and Brown after committing 20 turnovers and shooting only 30% from the floor.
"We really played well today with a lot of intensity and mental focus," said St. Lawrence head coach Dan Roiger. "Clarkson is an athletic, big team and they play so hard, and I thought we matched that intensity and played really smart on defense."
McDuffee finished with a double-double thanks to a game-high 18 points and 12 rebounds. Legg added 17 points and three blocks, while St. Hilaire scored 16 including two threes that put the game out of reach in the second half. Clarkson was led by Katelyn Curtis' 12 points and six rebounds, while Cara Manfredi and Ashley Loggins each added 11 points.
St. Lawrence used a big first half by McDuffee to take a 27-18 lead into halftime, as she had 11 points, seven boards and four steals to spark her team to a solid cushion. The Knights, who held a 27-18 edge in rebounds, struggled offensively. That included Manfredi, who averages over 18 points per game, but was held scoreless in the first half (0-for-6).
Manfredi would open the second half with a banked-in three to get the Knights within six, though they'd get no closer thanks to Legg and St. Hilaire. Legg would score 13 consecutive St. Lawrence points during a stretch of the second half to open up the lead, while St. Hilaire followed with eight straight points thanks to a pair of threes that put the game out of reach, 51-32, with 7:40 to play.
The Scarlet and Brown would cruise from there, opening their largest lead of 21 at 60-39 with 4:13 to play. Clarkson would close the game on a run to bring it to the final of 62-49. Though she didn't put up big offensive numbers, Coach Roiger was also impressed with the play of junior Allison Cady.
"We had a lot of players step up and play well today. Kara was awesome with another double-double, and Kelly and Cassie got red hot in the second half. But we also had Allie Cady who didn't put up big numbers in the box score but played incredible. Allie's defense on one of the best offensive players in the league was awesome tonight, and she dished out 6 assists and constantly made good reads and found open teammates," added Coach Roiger. "She deserves special recognition for playing an outstanding game."
St. Lawrence will have the weekend off before returning to action on Monday, January 20 when it hosts SUNY Canton in the Burkman Gym. The Saints and Kangaroos will tip off at 7:00pm.