Bard men drop three out of four Liberty League basketball games

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Two-time defending Liberty League champion Skidmore College rallied from a halftime deficit to defeat Bard College, 66-56, in the Liberty League men’s basketball opener for both teams on Jan. 4.

Bard put together a 14-3 run over the last eight minutes of the first half to take a 27-25 lead into the locker room.

Skidmore (7-3, 1-0 Liberty League) rallied and pushed its lead to 10 a couple of times, but Bard got to within five with 8:49 left, only to have Skidmore respond. The Raptors cut the lead to six with two minutes left, then six again with 45 seconds left, but they never got closer.

Freshman Tanner Brooks (Pikesville, Md.) led Skidmore with 18 points.

Bard got 16 points from sophomore Chris McNaughton (State College, Pa.), 13 from junior Lamar Powell (West Orange, N.J.), and 12 points and eight rebounds from sophomore Siondueh Burnette (Lakeville, Mass.). Red Hook High School graduate Frank Stortini had seven points and a team-high nine rebounds.

In their second league game, however, the Bard team was victorious.

A 15-3 run over the last 5:41 of the game lifted Bard to a 47-43 victory over Vassar College on Jan. 8.

In a physical, defensive battle between rival schools, Vassar’s defense was the story for most of the game. The Brewers (4-6 overall, 0-1 Liberty League) held Bard to 29 percent shooting and 17 points in the first half, and it continued that way well into the second half. With 11:15 left in the game, Vassar led 35-25, but Bard rallied.

Bard took the lead for the first time since the opening minutes when Burnette made a layup with 2:01 left, making it 43-42. But a free throw by Vassar sophomore Alex Snyder (Rutland, Vt.) tied the game with 1:19 remaining.

A jumper by Burnette broke the deadlock with 58 seconds left, and Vassar turned the ball over on its next possession. A pair of free throws by junior Ben Kane (Rockville, Md.) made it a two-possession game (47-43) with 30 seconds left, and Vassar missed its next three shots to set off the Bard celebration.

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