February 1st, 2012
Vassar Falls in 76-73 Loss to Clarkson
Vassar Freshman Johnny Mrlik led the Brewers with 19 points.
Poughkeepsie – Clarkson University erased a 15-point first half deficit by going on a 19-0 run and held off a furious late game comeback by the Vassar College
men's basketball team, to register a tight 76-73 Liberty League victory
on Saturday afternoon at the Athletics & Fitness Center.
first half was decidedly lopsided for both teams, as the Brewers used
five 3-pointers in building a 33-18 first half lead. Clarkson absorbed
the gut punch, and used four 3-pointers – all by junior guard Felix
Lianos – to go on a 19-0 run and head into halftime with a 37-35 lead.
The Brewers went 0-for-7 from the field during Clarkson's game-altering
spurt, but managed to comeback from two 11-point second half deficits
and come within two points, 75-73, with 16 seconds remaining following a
clutch 3-pointer by freshman guard Johnny Mrlik.
On the ensuing
inbound after Mrlik's score, Vassar caught up with the speedy Clarkson
team in the frontcourt, and fouled Lianos with 4.8 seconds left. He
converted the first of two free throws for a 76-73 Clarkson lead. On
Vassar's inbound, the Brewers turned the ball over at midcourt amidst
tenacious Clarkson pressure and lost possession as time ran out.
drops to 6-11, 2-6 in Liberty League play. Clarkson improves to 13-4,
6-2. Vassar remains idle until hosting Skidmore on February 3 at 8:00
p.m. Clarkson will host St. Lawrence at 8:00 p.m. on January 31.
Brewers looked poised for an upset when busting out to a 33-18 lead
with 7:49 to play until halftime. Sizzling 3-point shooting from junior
guard Jon Herzog and Mrlik, who had five three's between them, paved the
way. Clarkson's Lianos, who took seven 3-pointers in the first half and
made five, connected on four straight from long range in the Golden
Knights' 19-0 run that swung the game's momentum in a frantic four
minute stretch of action.
Within the first four minutes of the
second half, Clarkson pushed its lead to 50-40 after senior guard Tyler
Baron connected on one of his team's 12 made 3-pointers with 15:03 to
play. The Golden Knights, who held two 11-point leads, capitalized on a
Vassar shooting drought that went from 52 percent in the first half to
just 37 percent in the second half, and from 54 percent from 3-point
distance to a mere 20 percent.
Still, the Brewers didn't falter
and mounted a formidable comeback, orchestrated by Mrlik and Herzog.
Vassar came storming back from 11 down with 5:48 to play to within two
points at 72-70 with 2:24 remaining after Herzog sliced his way through
the lane for a layup basket. The Brewers missed two 3-point attempts
before Mrlik connected on his sixth of the game with 16 seconds
Mrlik led the Brewers with 19 points, while backcourt
mate Herzog had a season-best 18 points. Freshman center Alex Snyder
earned a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Synder's rugged
play inside helped the Brewers control the backboard 47-33 and earn a
17-6 advantage in second chance baskets. Clarkson negated that statistic
by forcing 21 Vassar turnovers that resulted in a 25-13 gap in points
Clarkson got 19 points each from one of the
league's finest backcourts in Lianos and senior guard Marques Charlton.
Freshman forward John Coleman had 17 points and a team-best seven