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Clarkson women open Liberty League season with win over Skidmore

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POTSDAM - After a sluggish first half and losing a nine-point edge late in the contest, the Clarkson University women’s basketball team rallied in overtime to earn a 49-43 victory over Skidmore College in the Liberty League conference opener Tuesday evening at Alumni Gymnasium.

The Golden Knights improved to 6-3 overall and 1-0 in the Liberty League, while Skidmore saw a four-game winning streak come to an end and their record evened at 5-5 overall and 0-1 in league games.

In a very low-scoring first half, it was tough for either team to make much of a run to change the outlook of the game in regards to points. Clarkson was held scoreless for the first four minutes, but the Thoroughbreds didn’t take advantage of the opportunity, scoring only six points. Ashley Loggins (Albany, NY) came off the bench to end the Knights’ scoring drought, nailing a 3-pointer and then picking up three more points on a layup and a free throw. However, Skidmore held the Knights scoreless for the next eight minutes and added five points to its total for a 13-6 lead midway through the half. Clarkson then more than doubled its offensive output with a 10-0 run 2:05, taking the lead on a 3-pointer from Cara Manfredi (Glastonbury, CT) at 3:45. Skidmore tallied a pair of free throws to cut the margin to a single point at the half.

Clarkson again struggled to start the second half in missing its first six shots and not scoring until Isabella Esposito (Essex, VT) made a shot at the 14:51 mark, but despite the drought the Knights were able to rally back and actually take the lead at 32-31 at the 5:35 mark, using a 9-1 run. From the 7:45 mark to the 1:11 mark, Skidmore was held without a point and after a 3-pointer from Cara Manfredi, it appeared as if the Knights would pull out the victory. However, the Knights were unable to secure the victory with free throws down the stretch, and a 3-pointer in the corner from Skidmore’s Allie Keller tied the game at 40-40 with 17 seconds to go and the game went into overtime. Unlike the second half, the Knights got in front and would not relinquish the lead, as Curtis hit a 3-pointer with three minutes to go to put Clarkson up for good. An open court lay in by Brooke Butkovsky (Monroe, CT) and a free throw from Alyssia Marsal (Clifton Park, NY) were enough in the waning seconds to finish off the contest.

Cara Manfredi led Clarkson with 12 points, all coming on 3-point field goals, while Ashley Loggins and Katelyn Curtis each chipped in 10 points, with Loggins adding in eight rebounds. Brooke Butkovsky also produced nine boards and three steals.

For Skidmore, Jordyn Wartts had a game-high 14 points and also grabbed 10 rebounds. Angela Bitoba shot 5—9 from the floor for 11 points and picked up 14 boards.

WOMEN’S HOCKEY

Castleton State 3, SUNY Potsdam 1: Host Castleton State (7-5) rallied past the SUNY Potsdam women’s hockey team for a 3-1 victory on Tuesday night. The loss ends the Bears winning streak at four games in Castleton, Vermont.

Senior assistant captain Jenn Crawford (Burlington, Ontario/Stony Creek Sabres) scored for Potsdam and freshman goaltender Abby Tardelli (Potsdam, N.Y.) was strong in losing effort with 41 saves.

After killing two early penalties, the Bears got on the board first at 9:47. Crawford buried a shot from the right side of the slot with assists from freshman forward Amanda Peterson (West Chazy, N.Y./Chazy Flyers) and junior captain Izzy Fayerman (Calgary, Alberta/The Edge). The advantage lasted just three minutes as Nicoline Jenson evened the score, tapping home a rebound on a shot from the point. The score remained tied after 20 minutes.

Spartan Anna Daniels made the difference in the second period with two shorthanded goals. At 10:02, after Castleton forechecker Lisa Kilroy took control over a loose puck behind Potsdam’s net, she centered it and Daniels knocked it home. With just 49 seconds left in the period, Daniels gave the Spartans some more insurance on the penalty kill, converting on a breakaway for a 3-1 advantage. Despite the goals, Tardelli continued to play well, stopping 15 shots in the stanza, including a penalty shot.

The third period was the most even of the contest, with Castleton edging the Bears 12-9 in shots. Neither team was able to light the lamp again as the Spartans held on to the 3-1 victory.

Paula Stephens finished with 19 saves to earn the win. Castleton outshot Potsdam 44-20 on the night. The Spartans were 0-7 on the power play, while the Bears went 0-6.

Potsdam Head Coach Jay Green had praise for his goalie, but saw a lot for his team to improve on in 2014.

“Abby Tardelli was sensational,” said Green. “She played extremely well all night. But we have to find our intensity and start moving forward again.”

Potsdam is back in the friendly confines of Maxcy Ice Arena next Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. when they host Hamilton College.

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