Clarkson Golden Knights Hold off Bears, 59-55


POTSDAM, N.Y.—Clarkson University (4-2) withstood a second half charge by the SUNY Potsdam women's basketball team (2-2) to eek out a 59-55 victory on Tuesday night. Senior captains Jessica Kouzan (Webster, N.Y./Webster Schroeder) and Chenice Russell (Brushton, N.Y./Brushton-Moira) each scored 12 points to lead the Bears.

The Golden Knights ran out to an early 7-2 lead before the Bears answered with a 5-0 run to tie the game at the 15:34 mark. Clarkson slowly built its advantage back up and a three pointer from Cara Manfredi gave the home team a 26-16 lead with 3:43 left in the half. Clarkson closed the opening 20 minutes with a 6-4 stretch and carried a 32-20 advantage into the break.

After a layup from Brook Butkovsky increased the Golden Knight bulge to 13 just under three minutes into the second half, the Bears went to work. Kouzan hit a jumper to ignite a 10-0 run and get Potsdam back into the game at 35-32. Russell and senior captain Hannah Kmiecinski (Webster, N.Y./Webster-Thomas) each drained threes during the run. Clarkson slowly worked their lead back to eight with 10:02 to play, but an 18-9 run got the Bears within 53-52 at the 3:48 mark. Manfredi sank a layup to extend the advantage to 55-52, but Kouzan answered with a three to tie the game with 2:33 on clock. After the teams traded missed shots for the next two minutes, Golden Knight Stephanie Grobe broke the tie with a three of her own. She then added a free throw with 11 ticks left to seal the 59-55 win.

Clarkson edged Potsdam 37 percent to 36 in shooting on the night. Manfredi finished with a game-high 14 points, while Isabella Esposito added another 10. Junior captain Bailey Weigel (East Amherst, N.Y./Williamsville East) finished with eight points and five assists, while Kmiecinski chipped in seven.

The Bears are back in action on Friday when they open their SUNYAC slate with a 6 p.m. showdown at SUNY Cortland.