Skidmore downs Clarkson men's basketball, 67-57
Potsdam, NY – Although the team put for its best defensive effort of the season in causing 22 turnovers, the Clarkson University Men's Basketball team came up short against Skidmore College 67-57 on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Gymnasium.
The Golden Knights fell to 0-7 on the season and 0-2 in conference games while Skidmore edged over .500 at 3-2 overall and 2-0 in the Liberty League. Clarkson will look to tally one in the win column against St. Lawrence when the two teams play on Tuesday in Canton.Although Clarkson forced Skidmore into 22 turnovers with a swarming defensive effort, that active defense also allowed the Thoroughbreds to get to the line 23 times, where the visitors made 20 free throws.
Clarkson's only lead of the game came with the opening basket, but Skidmore had trouble shaking the Golden Knights for much of the first half. Barryn Shark hit a 3-pointer at 12:14 to tie the game at 12-12 and Jason Phelps followed with a 3-pointer to tie the game again at 15 just a few moments later, but those turned out to be the only two ties of the contest. Clarkson was still hanging around when Roburt Welch hit a 3-pointer at 3:46 to make the score 24-21, though Skidmore ended the half with an 8-0 run, capped by a buzzer-beating sideline jumper from Pat Gallagher.
The Knights pulled to within six (32-26) early in the second half with a dunk in transition by Matt Higgins, but Skidmore steadily stretched its lead into double figures, pushing the margin to 14 points when Greg Skoric finished inside near the midway point of the half. Dakpe Yiljep's put back layup at 5:23 extended the advantage to 15 points in Skidmore's favor, but Clarkson would not allow the game to get out of hand. In fact, solid free throw shooting kept Clarkson close and a 3-pointer from Keenan Gayle with the shot clock winding down pulled the Knights to within seven (59-52) with just over two minutes to go. With both teams in the bonus, the majority of the points came on free throws the rest of the way, and Skidmore did not miss often, assuring the Thoroughbreds of the win.
Shark finished with a team-high 13 points, shooting 3-for-3 from the field and 6-for-7 from the line, while adding in four rebounds and three steals. Higgins added 12 points and Welch contributed 10 points for Clarkson.
For Skidmore, Noah Meren proved tough to stop as he scored 25 points on 7-for-15 shooting and an 11-for-13 run from the free throw line. Edvinas Rupkus also produced a double-double on 12 points and 10 rebounds.