Sports Wrap: Men's basketball heads to 'Big Dance'

Posted by Julia Schwartz

Skidmore basketball returned to the Liberty League tournament for the second year in a row. They finished regulation play posting a 16-9 overall and 10-4 league record. The team tied a program record for regular season wins and set a new program record for Liberty League wins.

The tournament began with a game against Rensselaer Engineers. The Thoroughbreds and Engineers were 1-1 against one another this season with each team winning on its home court.

The Thoroughbreds struggled at the beginning of the first half, but Terron Victoria '12 threw up two three-point shots in order to start a 16-0 run after the 10:53 mark. The Engineers held the lead at the end of the first half, with a score of 38-34. Within the first half there were 11 lead changes, a remarkable amount matched by the competitive nature of the rivalry of the two teams.

When the second tip off began, Skidmore aggressed toward the opponents basket, scoring the first 9 points of the half. With the five-point lead from their expedient start, Skidmore kept pushing and never gave up the lead for the rest of the game. Every time the Engineers would attempt to push ahead, the Thoroughbreds matched their efforts. The lead never dropped below three points.

Standouts in the game were Victoria, who led the Thoroughbreds in double figures with 17 points, followed by Gerard O'Shea ‘12 with 12 points, and Kyle Clark '12 and Melvis Langyintuo '12 both had 11 points and 9 rebounds.

Skidmore came out the next day to perform in its first Liberty League championship the following day. Riding off the win from the previous day, they swept their tournament play to prevail in the Liberty League. The win came with not only the team's first Liberty League title, but also an invitation to the NCAA tournament starting Mar. 4. at Worchester Polytechnic Institute, when Skidmore competes against Amherst.

Skidmore accelerated in the first half with 9 three-pointers, four of them coming from the hands of Langyintuo. With the team on fire, the Thoroughbreds took the lead at the end of the first half, with a score of 33-19.

The second half began when Skidmore increased their lead out to 20 points, after back-to-back three pointers from Jeff Altimar '11.

Skidmore never lost a double-digits lead as the team controlled rhythm of the game to obtain a final score of 68-52. Langyintuo led all scorers in the game with 20 points, while O'Shea added 10 points and four assists.?

Following their high performance in the Liberty League tournament, juniors Langyitnuo, O'Shea and Victoria all received the honor of Performers of the Week after their selection for Liberty League All-Tournament Team.?Langyintuo was named Tournament MVP after scoring a total of 31 points in both games and shooting 6-8 from three-point range. O'Shea scored in double figures during both Liberty League games and played without a single turnover.?Victoria led the Thoroughbreds in their game against RPI with 17 put up eight points and four assists in the championship game.?

With the win, Skidmore advanced to the final game of the tournament against Hamilton the following day. The tournament begins with three first-round games between the lowest seeded-six teams. The three first-round winners move on to play one of three number one seeds on Saturday. After dwindling down from more than 400 schools in Division III men's basketball, Skidmore begins play in one of 13 four-team groupings against number 9 seed Amherst at Worchester Polytechnic Institute Mar. 4.

Ice Hockey

After scoring a spot in the ECAC East semifinals, Skidmore lost in a shutout game against Babson Feb. 26. The Thoroughbreds end the season at 9-14-3. The game ended with six chances missed on the power play, while Babson was able to convert on two of four chances.

Two goalies swapped chances during the game to help defend, but came out with five allowed goals, from both Colin Bessey '12, who had 16 saves and Andrew Ross '12, who had 17 saves throughout the final 30:11.

Men's Lacrosse

After a change in location due to a blast from the persistent winter weather, Skidmore lacrosse came out on top with a score of 9-8 against Babson on the road. It was the season opening game for both teams. J.P. Sullivan '13 provided the first early lead for the Thoroughbreds with 5:34 left in the first quarter, to bring the score to 2-1.

During the second quarter, Babson attempted to gain the lead back, but Skidmore prevailed and ended the half with a 5-4 lead.

While the teams managed to bring the score to a tie in the third quarter, Sullivan converted an assist from Mike Holden '13 with just under 11 minutes left in play. Sullivan then scored the insurance goal, his fouth of the game, to provide Skidmore with an absolute win with 2:44 left in regulation.

Skidmore lacrosse continues to battle the cold and the snow next on Mar. 5 at home against Western Connecticut State at 3:30.

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