GENEVA - The top three scorers from the Clarkson University mens basketball team combined for 59 points against Hobart on Wednesday evening, but the output wasnt enough as the Golden Knights dropped the Liberty League semifinal game to the Statesmen 78-69 in overtime.
The Golden Knights saw their season come to an end with a record of 16-10 overall, while Hobart improved to 20-6.
The game was close throughout, with neither team owning more than a four-point lead in the first half. Clarkson led early, but Hobart rallied back to take the lead briefly before the Knights returned to possess the upper hand. Late in the half, the Statesmen used a 6-0 run to take a four-point advantage (30-26), but a pair of free throws from Felix Abongo (Beacon, NY) and a tip in at the buzzer by Marques Charlton (Deer Park, NY) had the teams knotted up at 30-30 at halftime.
In the second half, Hobart looked poised to take control, gaining an eight-point edge (45-37) at the 13:40 mark. However, the Knights chipped away with a 12-4 run and tied the score on a pair of free throws from Charlton at 9:10. From there, the game resembled the first half in its back and forth quality. Hobart had a four-point edge after conversions from Joe Gibbons at the 2:50 mark, but free throws by John Coleman (Potsdam, NY) at the 1:07 mark tied things up for the 10th time. Clarkson had its chances in the final minute, missing three shots and turning the ball over twice in that span.
In overtime, Hobart used its advantage in fouls to get to the free throw line, shooting 11-14 from the line, with several of those chances coming in the waning moments as Clarkson attempted to climb back into the game. However, Hobart attempted just three shots, making two, in the overtime frame while the Knights were 2-7. Clarkson missed a total of four shots in the final 35 seconds, trying to trim the six-point deficit, but none of the attempts would fall, allowing Hobart to come away with the hard fought victory.
Charlton finished with a team-high 23 points, shooting 7-14 from the field and 7-7 from the free throw line. Coleman added in 20 points on 8-16 shooting, producing six rebounds and four steals. Colemans four thefts allowed him to tie the single-season record at Clarkson for steals (69). Abongo also had a solid game with 16 points and eight boards. For Hobart, Richie Bonney had a double-double with 23 points and 14 rebounds and Gibbons produced 19 points on 7-13 shooting. Trey Blanding also did well offensively, scoring 18 points on 6-11 shooting to go along with four assists and three steals.
SLU WOMEN ADVANCE
The St. Lawrence University womens basketball team outscored RIT 40-28 in the second half, surging to a 65-52 victory at Burkman Gymnasium to advance to the 2014 Liberty League championship game. Kara McDuffee and Kelly Legg combined for 26 points in the second half as both players finished with double-doubles in the win.
St. Lawrence improves to 19-7 on the year and will look to defend its conference win at 3 p.m. on Saturday against Vassar College, who defeated William Smith. RIT ends its season with a 14-12 mark.
The goal was to advance. It wasnt a pretty game for us, but the third time against a team in the last four weeks tends to look like that, said St. Lawrence head coach Dan Roiger. RIT presents some match-up problems for us, but we were able to fight off the challenge. I thought we played outstanding defense all night long, and though we didnt rebound well in the first 30 minutes, we had a strong finish on the glass that allowed us to get some separation. We held two of the best scorers in our league to 5—27 from the floor – that was a team effort and won the game for us.
McDuffee led all scorers with 18 points while grabbing 11 rebounds and Legg chipped in 12 points and 12 boards. Lauren Quattrocchi and Cassie St. Hilaire each had 10 points, while Ellie Gonyeau chipped in seven points, two rebounds and two assists off the bench. After struggling in the first half, the Scarlet and Brown shot 40% from the floor and made four threes in the second half to put the game out of reach.
RIT was led by Kayla Wheelers 13 points, while leading scorers Ashlynn Palmitesso and Courtney Tennant scored 11 and nine, respectively. The Tigers managed only 18-63 (29%) from the floor including 3-20 and were hurt by 29 personal fouls.
Neither team had a lead larger than three points in the first half, though St. Lawrence managed to escape with a 25-24 advantage. The score was tied six different times, and though each squad had numerous chances to put a run together, poor shooting plagued RIT (8-for-32) while St. Lawrence committed 11 turnovers. St. Hilaire led all players with eight points while Gonyeau added seven.
RIT hung tough throughout the second half, keeping within striking distance by keeping the game within one possession much of the time. However, the Saints had an answer each time the Tigers made a push, as Quattrocchi hit a three and McDuffee converted an and-1, keeping the visitors from taking the lead.
A lay-up by Wheeler with 6:27 remaining pulled RIT within three at 44-41, but Legg delivered a clutch three from the top of the key to give St. Lawrence its largest lead at six, 47-41. That basket sparked an 8-2 run, capped by another three from Quattrocchi for a nine point lead that the Saints would not relinquish. RIT would get within five, but no closer as Legg hit another three that put the game away en route to the comfortable 65-52 win.
Vassar is a great team. They have three of the top scorers in our league and the best player Ive ever coached against in Cydni Matsuoka, said Roiger. I havent really found a way to guard her yet. It will be a great challenge for us to compete on Saturday, but that is the way it should be in a championship game.