Skidmore Men’s Basketball Close Regular Season Play with a Victory over Clarkson
Feb. 21, 2017
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — The Skidmore men’s basketball team came back from behind and triumphed over Clarkson Sunday night at the Williamson Sport Center.
Skidmore played their last regular season game after winning the Liberty League conference on Friday against St. Lawrence, finishing the season 19–6. Skidmore, who battled Clarkson for a win earlier in the season, trailed the entire first half of the game.
After struggling for the first five minutes, junior Jack Morrow finally put Skidmore on the board well into the first half. Clarkson continued to rack up points contributing to their lead with Drew Zlogar, Liam Ellis, and Derek Hart dominating the court.
Midway through the first half, Clarkson’s Matt Higgins sunk three free-throws and set off a lull for Skidmore for almost four minutes. It wasn’t until six minutes left in the first half that Aldin Meduninjanin broke the drought with a hard-fought layup. However, the Thoroughbreds struggled to keep up with the Golden Knights and faced a 10-point deficit towards the end.
Despite the strong efforts by Skidmore’s Medunjanin and Edvinas Rupkus to keep their team in the game, Clarkson won the first half 41–34.
Morrow was the first on the board again and began Skidmore’s comeback by scoring in the first 10 seconds of the second half. Skidmore swiftly worked to squash their deficit with Chase Ta, Meduninjanin, and Rupkus working at the basket early in the second half. Ta’s fast break down the court allowed Skidmore to briefly hold onto the lead before Ellis answered with a 3-point equalizer.
Rupkus fired back with a 3-pointer of his own, with Skidmore recovering and eventually losing the lead once again. However, the Thoroughbreds were fired up with a packed gym full of supporters and immediately regained control of the game.
Skidmore took back the court and started building a lead that would eventually win them the game with a final score of 93–78.
The final buzzer rang with emotions as the last regular season game signified Clarkson’s senior players’ collegiate careers coming to a close. The Thoroughbreds also honored their senior players, Royce Paris, Tyler Victoria, and Meduninjanin, and celebrated the win with a full house of family members, students, faculty, and many Saratoga Springs community members.
Three Skidmore players finished the game scoring double digits: Rupkus (30), Meduninjanin (21), and Morrow (13). This game also recognized Rupkus’s achievement of 1000th points after he scored a 3-pointer with 5:20 left in the game. The stands erupted with applause as Rupkus is only one of 18 to achieve this milestone as well as the only sophomore to do so in the program’s history.
Skidmore’s victory over Clarkson closed regular season play as the Thoroughbreds make a run for the Liberty League Championship. Skidmore plays against Hobart College in the semifinals at home at 8 P.M. on Wednesday.