Clarkson Advances To Hoop Tourney Finals
Alfred, NY – A 45-point second half lifted the Clarkson University Men's Basketball team from a small deficit to a near double-digit win as the Golden Knights downed Alfred State 73-65 on Friday night in the first round of the Special T's Tipoff Classic. The Golden Knights evened their early season mark at 1-1 and will face Alfred College on Saturday afternoon to close out the tournament. Clarkson started off slow, going scoreless in the first four minutes until Chris Hulbert converted a layup at 15:50. That basket hardly broke the Knights out of their early scoring funk as Alfred State held the Green and Gold to four points in the first eight-plus minutes and edged out to double-digits when Josh Reding hit a 3-pointer at the 10:43 mark to make the score 17-6. Still up by nine two minutes later, the Pioneers could not stop Matt Higgins from a scoring barrage, as the senior hit a trio of 3-pointers over the next three minutes, including a four-point play at the 5:19 mark to pull Clarkson back within one. The Knights eventually tied the game at 28-28, but free throws in the final minute gave Alfred State a two-point advantage at the break. Higgins hit a 3-pointer in the opening minute of the second half to give Clarkson its first lead of the game at 33-32, and the Knights never trailed again. A Chris Hulbert 3-pointer pushed the Knights' lead to eight (40-32) and a few moments later a Higgins jumper put the Knights up by 12 (46-34). Clarkson extended its lead to 13 on a 3-pointer and later a jumper by Hulbert, but the Pioneers chipped away and cut the margin to six (56-50) with a little over five minutes remaining. Blake Gearhart's 3-pointer at 3:08 pushed the margin by double figures (63-52), making it look like the Knights could cruise down the stretch. That was not the case, however, as the Pioneers did not panic and cut into the deficit slowly. Reding hit a 3-pointer with 38 seconds left to make the score 65-62, but four different Knights made free throws down the stretch to give Clarkson the win. Higgins and Hulbert each scored 19 points to lead all scorers, while Reese Swedberg delivered a double-double on 14 points and 11 rebounds. Gearhart was 3-for-3 from the field and added 10 points and five boards, and Barryn Shark contributed nine assists and five more rebounds. For Alfred State, Reding tossed in 18 points, Markel Jenkins had 13 points and eight rebounds and Donte Jones added 10 points.