Potsdam, NY – With a couple of shots hitting the edge of the rim instead of finding their way through in the final minute, the Clarkson University Men’s Basketball team found itself on the short end of a 53-48 decision against St. Lawrence, as the Golden Knights lost their first Liberty League game of the season Tuesday night at Alumni Gymnasium.
The Golden Knights fell to 8-5 overall and 2-1 in conference play, while St. Lawrence moved to 6-8 and 2-1. Both teams will travel to face Skidmore and Union this weekend.
The first half saw a number of lead changes as the teams jockeyed back and forth to gain momentum. It wasn’t until the end of the half that St. Lawrence finally maintained a lead, pushing its advantage to five at the break after a last second lay up from Andy Hoercher. Hoercher finished the half with nine points in just six minutes to lead the Saints. Clarkson’s Rey Jefferson (Budd Lake, NJ) matched him with nine points, coming off the bench as well, making three 3-point field goal attempts. The main different in the contest’s first period was the Knights’ nine turnovers, as several times the ball was tipped into the hands of a Saints’ player or merely was sent out of bounds as Clarkson tried to pick apart the opponents’ defense.
George Koduah (Accra, Ghana) and Keith Murray (Queens, NY) each contributed six first-half points for Clarkson, while Josh Sharlow added eight points for the Saints in the opening 20 minutes.
Clarkson began the first four minutes of the second half on a 6-0 run to regain the lead, and continued to shut out the Saints for the first seven minutes of the second period. The Saints got on the board in second frame on a tip in with 12:40 remaining and cut the difference to one point after a pair of free throws, and then both teams went cold for four minutes as the defenses began to wear one another down.
In the final minutes of the contest, the two teams traded baskets or free throws as neither team could gain much of an advantage. With just under a minute remaining in the contest, the Saints’ Ralph Temgoua drove to his right and banked in a lay up to give St. Lawrence a 51-48 lead. On the following possession, the Knights missed a jumper and the Saints were in good position with a three-point lead and only a two-second different between the game clock and shot clock, forcing Clarkson to foul. Despite a miss by Josh Sharlow to give the Knights a chance, Clarkson was unable to bury any of its shots in the final minute allowing the Saints to pull away for a five-point victory.
Jefferson finished with a team-high 12 points for Clarkson, while Koduah and Murray each finished with 10 points. Jonathan Hood (Cortlandt Manor, NY) had a solid all-around game as well with 8 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists.
For St. Lawrence, Temgoua finished with 16 points and 7 rebounds, while Josh Sharlow ended with 12 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals. Andy Hoercher finished with 11 points.