Clarkson came out firing in the 2nd half as they started the half on a 18-4 run to erase a two-point halftime deficit. The Golden Knights held off an Alfred State rally in the final minute and earned the 73-65 victory over the Pioneers in day one action of the Special Tee's Tournament.
Both teams struggled from the floor in the 1st half. Alfred State jumped out to a 17-6 in the first nine minutes of the game but Clarkson battled back into the game and trailed only 30-28 at the break. The Pioneers shot 34.5% in the 1st half while the Knights shot 36.7%.
Clarkson took a 33-32 lead in the first minute of the second half and never gave the lead back. They started the half on a 18-4 run to take the lead and led by as many as 13, 51-38, with 12:56 left in the contest. The Pioneers didn't go away as they chipped the lead down to three. 65-62, when Josh Reding (Spencerport) connected on a three with 38 seconds left in the game. The Knights would connect on eight of their 10 foul shot attempts to hang on for the victory.
Reding led the Pioneers with 18 points and six boards. Markel Jenkins (Elmira) had a big debut as he finsihed with 13 points and eight boards. Donte Jones (Brooklyn/Brooklyn Collegiate) came off the bench and finished 3 for 4 and finished with 10 points. The Pioneers were 22 for 62 on the game, were 4 for 15 from three, and hit 17 of 25 of their foul shot attempts.
Chris Hulbert and Matt higgins each finished with 19 points to lead Clarkson (1-1). The pair combined to hit seven of the Knights nine 3-pointers in the game. Reese Swedberg recorded a double-double with 14 points and 11 boards. The Knights were 24 for 53 from the field (13 for 23 in the 2nd half), hit nine of 22 three point attempts, and was 16 for 28 from the line.
The action shifts to Alfred University on Saturday. The Pioneers battle SUNY Cobleskill at 2 p.m. while the Saxons take on Clarkson at 4 p.m. Cobleskill used a big 2nd half to defeat AU 84-81 in the other first round conest of the tournament.