Potsdam, NY – Forcing five turnovers in the final eight minutes, the Clarkson University Men’s Basketball team turned a five-point deficit into a 65-55 victory over RIT in Liberty League action Friday night at Alumni Gymnasium.
The Golden Knights improved to 11-4 overall and evened their mark in conference games at 3-3, while the Tigers fell to 4-10 and 0-5. Clarkson will take on Hobart College at 4:00 pm on Saturday.
In the first half, Clarkson had trouble making many shots, but the Knights actually had a narrow two-point edge after a pair of free throws from Christian Collette (Yalesville, NY) at the 8:16 mark. However, over the next five minutes, RIT held Clarkson to 0-for-7 shooting and caused two turnovers to build a nine-point lead, 28-19 with just over three minutes remaining. Clarkson broke its scoreless streak but could only gain two points before the half.
Once the second half began, Clarkson started to make its shots and got back into the game. This was signified by Jerry Coleman (Potsdam, NY) breaking out of a game and a half slump, as the graduate student made six shots in seven tries after beginning the game with only one make in his first seven attempts. RIT held on to its lead, though, and was up by five points with 7:54 remaining. In less than two minutes, Clarkson went on an 8-1 run, capped by a Felix Abongo (Beacon, NY) 3-pointer from the top of the key, and the Knights never trailed again. Over the final ticks of the clock, Clarkson was able to control the boards and put immense pressure on the Tigers, causing five turnovers and limiting the Tigers to just seven points in the final eight minutes.
Sophomore John Coleman (Potsdam, NY) shot 8-for-10 from the floor for a game-high 17 points and added in five steals. Jerry Coleman was 7-for-15 and dropped in 16 points for the Knights, while Abongo contributed 12 points and five rebounds.
The Tigers were led by Nick Dobson, who shot 6-for-9 from the floor for 12 points, and Jameel Balenton chipped in 10 points. Ronnie Canestro had four steals.