Potsdam, NY – Three-pointers on back-to-back possessions pushed a three-point lead to a nine-point advantage and Skidmore College was able to hold on for a 77-69 victory against the Clarkson University Men's Basketball team Tuesday night at Alumni Gymnasium.
The Golden Knights dropped to 6-7 overall and 1-3 in the Liberty League, while Skidmore improved to 9-5 and 4-1 in conference games. Clarkson will travel down state to take on Vassar College and Bard College this weekend.
The start of the first half was a shootout between Clarkson's Drew Zlogar and Skidmore's Aldin Medunjanin, with Zlogar scoring the Knights' first 13 points as Skidmore collapsed on Derek Hart. On the other side, Medunjanin scored eight of Skidmore's first 11 points, hitting jumpers, going to the rim, and making a 3-pointer. Once the offense became a little more diversified, Skidmore caught up to the Knights and ran off 10 straight points, giving the Thoroughbreds a 21-14 lead with eight minutes expired. Five minutes later, Skidmore was up by nine (30-21), but Clarkson chipped away at the lead over the final seven-plus minutes, with a Matthew Hornak 3-pointer near the end of the half pulling the Knights within one (37-36).
Skidmore did a good job of denying Derek Hart the ball, as the senior forward attempted just four shots from the field. Drew Zlogar made up for the deficiency by scoring 17 points in the first half for Clarkson. Medunjanin finished the opening half with 13 points, going 5-for-5 from the floor.
Starting the second half, Clarkson converted a pair of free throws and got a layup from Liam Ellis to take a brief 40-37 lead, but the Thoroughbreds buried back-to-back 3-pointers to reclaim the advantage and they never trailed again. Instead of Medunjanin shouldering the offensive load, it was sophomore Edvinas Rupkus who found a rhythm in the second half. Rupkus sparked a 9-0 run with three baskets in the paint to push Skidmore's advantage to double-digits. Clarkson would creep back to within five on two occasions in the next few minutes but the Thoroughbreds pushed the gap to double figures (65-53) at the 8:09 mark when Pat Gallagher made a jumper. Again, the Knights went on a run of their own, scoring nine straight to get within three with just under four minutes to go. However, back-to-back 3-pointers from Jack Morrow and Jack Byrne in the next minute pushed the margin to nine, and the Knights never were able to get things close again.
Zlogar finished with a team-best 22 points and also snatched nine rebounds while Hart became a bit more difficult to match up with in the second half and finished with 18 points. Malaquias Canery also tacked on 10 points and six rebounds and Liam Ellis produced nine points. For Skidmore, Edvinas Rupkus scored 19 of his game-high 23 points in the second half, adding in nine boards and four assists. Medunjanin finished with 13 points before fouling out and Jack Morrow scored 12 points on a 4-for-8 shooting performance from beyond the 3-point arc. Jack Byrne also nearly recorded a double-double on nine points and eight rebounds.