SLU Ladies Top CU; Tie For League Lead
The St. Lawrence women's basketball team managed to overcome a slow first half to beat the Clarkson Golden Knights 51-32 Tuesday night at Burkman Gymnasium. The Saints join RPI and Vassar in a three-way tie for first place in the Liberty League. "I've seen some crazy games when you play your rival, you just don't know what to expect. Tonight was really weird," said St. Lawrence head coach Dan Roiger. The first half got off to a slow start as both teams only managed to make three shots. The Saints had a season-low 14 points in the half, shooting 11.5% from the field. They did, however, managed to hold the Golden Knights to only six points and 9.7% from the field. The start of the second half was a different story as both teams opened the period with back-to-back scores. Ava McCann of the Saints began to find her rhythm from beyond the 3-point line as she went 2-for-3 in the third period. Katie Frederick, who was recently named Liberty League Performer of the Week, led both teams in rebounds with 10, while also recording two steals and two blocks. The Saints were able to take advantage of the second-half momentum, leading by as many as 24 points with 2:55 left to play. "Our team responded well after halftime and made some excellent passes and finished a majority of our shots," said Roiger. "Our guards fed our posts and our posts took good shots and found teammates if Clarkson double-teamed. I thought Dylan Watkiss was huge for us today, she had six assists and made some excellent decisions with the ball." McCann led the Saints in scoring with 13 points, nine of which came from 3-point range. Nicole Jeffrey had a season-high four steals, two of which came in the fourth period to help seal the win. Hannah Earl led the Golden Knights with eight points and Rachel Marion had four steals. The Saints' defense played an almost perfect game, holding the Golden Knights to 21.2% shooting from the field and 0-for-12 from the 3-point line. "Our defense has been outstanding most of the season, and certainly since early December," said Roiger. "We have a way of making shots tough for our opponents without fouling. Tonight we needed that defense because we just couldn't get points for a long time. We could have been buried in that first half but actually had the lead, and that allowed us to stay relaxed and composed and then put up 37 points in the second half. Defense is consistent, offense isn't, and that played out in tonight's game." The Saints extended their win streak to six and improve to 12-5, 8-2 in the Liberty League while Clarkson fell to 6-10, 2-8. St. Lawrence's next game will be against Bard on Friday, January 31 at 5:30 p.m. at Burkman Gymnasium.