Sports Wrap: Men's hockey and basketball advance

Posted by Isaac Baker

The men's basketball team secured their spot in the playoffs last Friday with their win against St. Lawrence. Though the final spread was a 13-point margin, 82-69, the Thoroughbreds had to work for every bit of their lead. After dominating the first half, Skidmore went to the locker rooms with a 46-19 lead; they had connected consistently from beyond the arc and were moving the ball around successfully. Jeff Altimar '11 led the team at the half with 13 points.

St. Lawrence, however, did not throw in the towel and came back in the second half with a nearly impenetrable zone-defense and a much stronger offense. With just seven minutes to play, St. Lawrence had closed the 27-point gap to 7, and Skidmore's self-assurance from the first half had all but faded.

But they held on and maintained a tenuous lead through the end of the game, largely due to a high outside shooting percentage. Melvis Langyintuo '12 scored 18 points for Skidmore and shot 4 for 5 from beyond the arc, while Brian Lowry '12 put up 15 points off the bench. With a hard-won victory in their minds, they looked forward to Saturday's game at The Big Green Scream.

There was an electric feel in the gym on Saturday when Skidmore went up against Clarkson in the final game of the day's events. The Big Green Scream brought in a much larger crowd than usual to support the team in its final regular season game.

Though off to a shaky start, Skidmore started hitting its stride and went up by 17 at the end of the half. There was no question after that who would come out on top with Skidmore leading by as much as 27 in the second half.

Skidmore's bench outscored that of their opponent's 39-14; Gerard O'Shea '12 and Lowry each scored 14 points; and Langyintuo put up 12 points and brought down a team-high of eight rebounds.

Altimar scored 9 points, and, as the only senior, was also recognized by the coach, family and fans for his four years of dedication to Skidmore's basketball team.

As the No. 3 seed in the playoffs, Skidmore will face Rensselaer, the No. 2, Friday, Feb. 25 at Hobart; the winner of the four team playoff will move on to the NCAA Division III tournament.

Women's basketball

The women's basketball team also hosted St. Lawrence on Friday in what turned out to be well-fought loss for the Thoroughbreds, 49-47.

In the final second of Friday night's game, St. Lawrence's Kelly Legg put back a clutch offensive board to put her team up by two; this buzzer beater put St. Lawrence just ahead as the final fractions of a second ticked off the clock. On the whole, this was a low-scoring game and was close throughout – neither team lead by more than six at any point.

With two minutes remaining, Christine Kemp '11 scored a three pointer to tie the game at 47, pushing her overall contribution up to 15 points. Megan Gaugler '12 finished with 9 points, while Jordyn Wartts '14 put up eight. It was a tough loss, but they hoped to rally at Saturday's Big Green Scream.

Their hopes became reality in the Williamson Sports Center the next day in their 55-41 victory against Clarkson. This was also their final game of the season, and the crowd rolled in at 2 p.m. to watch the team's final moments of glory, and particularly the seniors on the team.

Gaugler led the team with 10 points, 8 rebounds and four assists; teammate Christine Kemp '11 followed with 9 points, 7 assists and two steals. Both of these women, along with Ismatu Alison-Konteh '11 and Cyrida Felton '11, were recognized for their long standing commitment to the women's basketball team and were assured that their presence and their contributions over the years would be sorely missed.

Ice hockey

The hockey team went on the road for its last two games of the season, travelling to Middlebury and Williams College. Skidmore held on in their battle against Middlebury, which ended in a 3-3 tie.

Though the score was even, Middlebury outshot Skidmore 36-16; Skidmore's saving grace was its goalie Colin Bessey '12 who saved 33 shots throughout the course of the game. Hunter Thayer '11 scored one goal from the right with a wrist flick, while Alex Essaris ‘12 led the team with two goals.

Skidmore's game against Williams College the following night at their rink was a blowout; the Thoroughbreds scored just two to Williams' seven. Tony Giacin ‘14 and Nick Dupuis '12 were the lone scorers for Skidmore.

Despite the loss, Skidmore will still advance to post season play, maintaining 4th place in the ECAC East. They will face Babson College on home ice at 7 p.m. on Feb. 26 in the Saratoga Springs City Rink.

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