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SLU basketball teams split league games at Skidmore

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SARATOGA SPRINGS - The St. Lawrence University men’s and women’s basketball teams split their Liberty League matchups on the road against Skidmore College on Tuesday.

MEN’S GAME

In the men’s game, SLU battled out of a 15-point halftime deficit behind the strong play of rookies Kyle Edwards and Kyle Kobis. Though the Saints pulled to within three in the final seconds, a chance to tie just missed and allowed the Thoroughbreds to escape with a 69-66 win.

Edwards finished with a team-high 19 points thanks to a 5-7 mark from behind the arc, while Kobis added 16 points. Al Jones also played a solid game for St. Lawrence (6-9, 2-4) with 17 points and seven rebounds. However, Skidmore (10-7, 4-4) did a nice job defensively on Brady Condlin, who was held scoreless on Tuesday, while Aldin Medunjanin had a game-high 22 points for the Thoroughbreds and missed a triple-double by three assists (10 rebounds, seven assists). Tanner Brooks was also key for Skidmore, finishing 5-8 from three for 17 points.

The Thoroughbreds came out of the gate on fire, hitting five three pointers in the opening five minutes to take a 17-4 lead. Edwards would help St. Lawrence claw back within seven, 22-15, only to see the home team grow its advantage to 15 at intermission (43-28) thanks to a three just before the buzzer by Connor Merrill.

The Saints’ surge in the second half started early, with Jones and Edwards hitting threes, while Payton Stahler added a lay-up to pull the visitors within five, 50-45, midway through the second half. The two conference foes went back-and-forth before Jones’ three made it a one-possession game with 3:24 to play.

Rookie Kieran Miller’s tip-in would pull St. Lawrence within one, 60-59, forcing Skidmore to use a timeout. The Thoroughbreds used it well, as Brooks came out of the timeout with back-to-back threes to stretch the lead to seven.

Kobis would give St. Lawrence a chance, as his three with 11 seconds remaining in regulation pulled the Saints back to within three at 69-66. The visitors immediately caused a turnover and used a 30-second timeout, giving Kobis a final chance to tie the score, but his bid missed, allowing Skidmore to hang on for the three-point win.

St. Lawrence returns home for a five-game home stand, which beings on Friday against Hobart College at 8 p.m.

WOMEN’S GAME

The SLU women gained a 69-56 decision in the first game of the night. Kara McDuffee had her sixth double-double of the season, while rookie Caroline Dalton had a career-high 18 points.

St. Lawrence improves to 9-6 (5-1) thanks to a 45-34 rebounding advantage and an 18-6 lead in assists. McDuffee had another outstanding all-around game with 18 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and four steals. Dalton, the reigning Liberty League Rookie of the Week, added eight rebounds and three blocks while Lauren Quattocchi matched her career-high with 15 points.

Skidmore falls to 7-10 (1-7) despite an 18-point, six rebound effort from Jordyn Wartts. Ella Scheuerell added 10 points while Molly McLaughlin had nine points and a team-high four assists for the Thoroughbreds.

“We had a great effort as a team tonight and had some excellent individual performances,” said St. Lawrence head coach Dan Roiger. “Caroline shot the lights out in the first half, Lauren had a big second half and Kara just finds a way to help our team win.”

The two teams battled early, with Skidmore building its largest lead of the contest at 17-12 off a lay-in by Wartts with 7:15 remaining in the first half. St. Lawrence answered with a 7-0 run to reclaim the lead, as Dalton and Quattrocchi hit three pointers, followed by a jumper by McDuffee for a 19-17 cushion.

Angela Botiba’s lay-up pulled Skidmore within two (23-21) with 1:22 to play before intermission. However, the ensuing Saints possession proved costly, as the visitors grabbed three offensive rebounds, giving Dalton a chance in the final seconds from behind the arc. She connected before the buzzer, giving the Saints a 26-21 lead at halftime and all of the momentum.

The Scarlet and Brown would capitalize early in the second half, as they raced out to a 13-2 run to take control up 39-23. Quattrocchi’s three capped the run for St. Lawrence’s largest lead of the game (16) with 13:21 remaining. Coach Roiger’s team consistently had answers to any run Skidmore made, and they did not allow the Thoroughbreds within nine points the rest of the way, coasting to the 69-56 conference win.

St. Lawrence has now won nine of the last 10 meetings against Skidmore dating back to 2010.

The Saints, winners of six of their last seven, will head home for five consecutive Liberty League games. St. Lawrence opens the home stand with a big showdown with William Smith on Friday at 6 p.m.

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