Saints Clinch Playoff Birth With 83-68 Victory Over Skidmore
Feb. 7: The St. Lawrence University men's basketball team won their sixth straight Liberty League contest and earned a spot in the 2009 Liberty League Tournament Saturday afternoon with their 83-68 win against Skidmore College in Burkman Gymnasium.
The Scarlet and Brown improve to a 16-4 record and a 9-1 mark in the conference and remain in first place in the League, while Skidmore falls to 7-14 on the season and 2-8 in Liberty League action.
St. Lawrence had five players score in the double-digits, with rookies Ralph Temgoua (Paris, France/Deerfield Academy) and Garrett Sharlow (Massena, NY/Massena Central) each contributing 17 points, a game-high, and combining for 14 rebounds, while Terry Parham (Petersburg, VA/Indian River) recorded 15 points and five boards. Senior captains Tom Wopperer (Manlius, NY/Fayetteville-Manlius) and Bela Vonnak (Canajoharie, NY/Canajoharie) had 12 and 10 points, respectively, to help pace the Saints to the win. Vonnak had a game-high nine rebounds.
St. Lawrence, who shot an impressive 52.9-percent from the floor in the first stanza, opened the contest with a distancing 21-0 run that left Skidmore cold for nearly six minutes before making a shot. The Saints were able to maintain their advantage over the Thoroughbreds throughout the remainder of the period, earning as much as a 24-point lead and only allowing the visiting team to get as close as 17, before closing the half with a score of 49-30 in favor of the Saints.
Despite the lead, Skidmore came back out on the floor in the second and allowed the Saints to only score 11 points in the first 10 minutes as they closed in on the home team, nearly erasing the deficit and scoring 27 points to close within four points, 61-57, with 10:23 to go in the game. But St. Lawrence regained momentum and scored 17 unanswered points to earn a 78-57 edge with 4:28 to go. The deficit was too large to overcome at this point as St. Lawrence controlled down the stretch and earned the 83-67 victory.
The Saints scored 44 points in the paint and 50 of their points came from the bench as the home team continued to use their depth to their advantage. They out-rebounded their opponents 55-34.
Skidmore was led by Gerard O'Shea, who was the only person to score in double digits with 11 points. Bobby Langford had a team-high six rebounds.
St. Lawrence will travel to Hobart and Hamilton next weekend in their last road trip of the regular season. Tip-off for the Saints and Statesmen is scheduled for 8:00pm in Geneva, NY.