POTSDAM - A hot first half that saw the Clarkson University womens basketball team shoot over 80 percent at the start of the contest provided enough cushion to give the Golden Knights a 61-55 Liberty League win over Skidmore College Tuesday night at Alumni Gymnasium.
The Golden Knights improved their mark to 4-18 overall and 2-12 in the Liberty League while Skidmore fell to 12-11 overall and 10-4 in conference games. Clarkson closes out the regular season at RIT and William Smith this weekend.
Clarkson enjoyed its best shooting performance of any half of any game against Skidmore in the opening 20 minutes of Tuesdays contest, shooting 68.2 percent (15-for-22). The figure was even better in the early going, peaking at 86.7% following a run that saw the Knights make 12 of 13 attempts from the field to start the game 13-for-15. The hottest hand of all was freshman Isabella Esposito (Essex, VT), who buried seven of her nine shots from the field for a team-best 15 points, pushing Clarkson to a 19-point lead (29-10) with 7:46 remaining in the first half. Also hitting at a high rate was Ashley Loggins (Albany, NY), who had nine points on 4-for-6 shooting. Conversely, the Thoroughbreds didnt get on track until late in the half and especially struggled from distances, making only one of their 12 attempts from beyond the 3-point arc. Logan Frederick and Lauren Conway were the high scorers for the Thoroughbreds in the early going, each recording six points.
Skidmore quickly erased the Knights double-digit advantage by going on a 10-0 run in the first four minutes of the second half, but Clarkson would never relinquish the lead thanks to back-to-back 3-pointers from Ashley Loggins. Every time Skidmore would make a run, Clarkson had an answer, including a big offensive rebounds from Taylor Glidden (Littleton, NH) that turned into a kick out 3-pointer from Melissa Bogart (Voorheesville, NY) late in the game. Free throws down the stretch cinched the win for Clarkson.
Loggins finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds as well as four assists and three steals. Esposito ended with 17 points and Leighann Tomita (Cerritos, CA) had 13 points, shooting 9-for-11 from the free throw line.
For Skidmore Angela Botiba contributed 13 points while Logan Frederick had eight points and seven rebounds.
SUNY POTSDAM FALLS
The SUNY Potsdam womens basketball team (1-22, 0-16 SUNYAC) dropped their road contest against SUNY Plattsburgh (12-11, 8-8 SUNYAC), 77-58 on Tuesday.
Senior guard Katy Briedis (Canton, N.Y.) and junior forward Jessica Kouzan (Webster, N.Y.) each notched 20 points.
Plattsburgh set the tone early in the contest with a 6-0 run. The Cardinals struck first with a three pointer just 18 seconds into the first half and capped off the spurt with a jump shot by sophomore guard Misha Green (New Rochelle, N.Y.). Junior guard Chenice Russell (Moira, N.Y.) stopped the early push with a three point basket at the 17:26 mark. Both teams would exchange baskets for three minutes until senior guard Catherine Cassidy (Brooklyn, N.Y.) drilled a three to spark an 8-0 run for Plattsburgh with 14:25 remaining. The Bears continued to fight for the remainder of the half. Briedis would connect on a bucket from beyond the arc at the 2:31 mark. The big three pointer poised Potsdam for a run but back-to-back triples by the Cardinals trampled the momentum. Green would add to the Plattsburgh lead with one tick left in the half, connecting on a jumper to give the Cardinals a 41-26 advantage at the break.
Potsdam remained persistent throughout the second stanza. Kouzan opened up the second half with a rare four-point play, making her three pointer and adding the free throw. The Cardinals were not fazed and maintained the pressure on both ends of the floor. However, the Bears continued to push and another three from Kouzan at the 9:33 mark cut the lead to 13 points.
Briedis would join her teammate, connecting on back-to-back three point baskets with 5:56 remaining to decrease the deficit to 10. Plattsburgh would weather the storm and mount an 8-1 offensive over the next two minutes to seal the win.
Freshman forward Devona Paul (Blauvelt, N.Y.) led the Cardinals with 16 points. Green finished with 12 points. Cassidy recorded a double-double performance with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Junior forward Kathleen Payne (Goshen, N.Y.) added 10 points and five assists.
The Bears return to action on Friday as they host Oswego State in the first game of their final SUNYAC weekend of the season.