Big second half by Ithaca sends Clarkson men's basketball to defeat
Potsdam, NY – A 52-point second half by the visitors turned a close game at the half into an easy win for Ithaca as the Bombers defeated the Clarkson University Men's Basketball team 97-67 on Friday night at Alumni Gymnasium.
The Golden Knights fell to 4-17 overall and 3-11 in the Liberty League, all but eliminating the Green and Gold from playoff contention since RPI won at home on Friday. Ithaca improved its conference standing to 9-6 and moved to 13-9 overall. Clarkson faces Union College on Saturday afternoon.The difference in the game was simple, as Ithaca was 15-for-37 (40.5%) from beyond the 3-point arc, but the Knights made a season-low four 3-pointers on 24 attempts (16.7%). Ithaca also scored 28 points off Clarkson turnovers, forcing the Knights into 17 miscues.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair, as each team was not having too much trouble on offense. Ithaca twice enjoyed a five-point lead in the first 10 minutes, but Clarkson responded each time to get back within one. The Bombers would not relinquish their advantage for the time being, pushing the lead to nine at the 6:44 mark when Peter Ezema converted inside. Clarkson responded with a small run of its own, getting back to within two (30-28) and then briefly taking the lead at 38-36 when Liam Elis hit a pair of free throws at 1:48. No time even ticked off the clock during Clarkson's brief advantage, however, as Riley Thompson hit two free throws at the other end after a technical foul was called on the Knights. Those free throws began a 9-1 run for Ithaca which ended the half, finished off by a Skylar Sinon 3-pointer in the waning seconds.
Matt Higgins opened the second half with a dunk to get Clarkson riled up, but Ithaca's offense was not to be muted. When Higgins hit a 3-pointer at the 17:55 mark to make the score 51-46, the Bombers responded with five baskets in six trips to push the margin to 16 points. Clarkson would trim the gap to 14 points briefly, but the points kept coming for the Bombers. Ithaca expanded its lead to 22 points before Clarkson scored seven straight with Higgins once again going to the basket for a dunk and then converting a free throw at 9:42. That was the last push for Clarkson, though, as Ithaca ended the game on a 25-10 run, finally pushing the lead to 30 on its final basket of the game.
Matt Higgins and Reese Swedberg each finished a rebound short of a double-double, with Higgins scoring 18 points to go along with nine boards and Swedberg adding 11 points and nine rebounds. Ithaca saw four of its starters finish in double figures, led by Sebastian Alderete's 25 points (9-for-15 from the field, 5-for-8 from the 3-point line). Riley Thompson also tossed in 23 points on 8-for-14 shooting and Peter Ezema added 18 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Skylar Sinon also chipped in 16 points, eight boards and five assists.