Rupkus leads Skidmore past Plattsburgh 88-62

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The Skidmore College men's basketball team led wire-to-wire, opening the home portion of the schedule with a dominating 88-62 victory over Plattsburgh, in non-conference action at the Williamson Sports Center Monday night.
The Thoroughbreds start the season 3-0 for the second straight year. Plattsburgh falls to 0-2.
Skidmore feasted on the defensive end, forcing 19 Plattsburgh turnovers with 14 steals, scoring 20 points off turnovers. They also held Plattsburgh to just 33.9 percent shooting from the field and 7-for-27 shooting from beyond the arc.
Edvinas Rupkus led all scorers with 26 points, shooting a perfect 8-for-8 from the charity stripe, adding six rebounds and five assists. Dakpe Yiljep scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds, adding a pair of steals. Chase Ta tallied 10 points, adding three assists and four steals. Pat Gallagher chipped in 11 points off the bench, adding five steals.
Nick DeAngelis led Plattsburgh with 12 points. Eli Bryant added 10.
The Thoroughbreds led the whole way in the victory. Skidmore jumped out to an early 10-2 lead, thanks to a pair of Jack Morrow treys and Edvinas Rupkus layups. From there, the Thoroughbreds slowly extended the lead, pushing the lead to double digits at 21-10, thanks to a pair of free throws by Chase Ta.
Plattsburgh brought the game to single digits one final time, at 28-20, on a 3-pointer by Eli Bryant with 6:20 to go in the opening half.  That was as close as it got for the rest of the contest, as Rupkus hit a jumper on the next possession, the start of an 18-6 run to push the lead to its biggest of the half, at 21.
The second half was played at a slower pace, with the teams combining for 23 fouls. Skidmore held strong to the double-digit lead, with the advantage pushing to 54-32 thanks to layups by Yiljep and Marcus Jackson. A late 11-0 run, capped off by a transition dunk by Pat Gallagher, gave Skidmore its biggest lead of the contest at 87-57. From there, Plattsburgh outscored the Thoroughbreds 5-1 in the final 1:34 to end the contest.
The Thoroughbreds shot 44.6 percent from the field in the victory and benefited from 17 second-chance points.
"I thought we did a good job sticking to the game plan," said head coach Joe Burke. "Plattsburgh is super talented and well coached; the goal was to keep them from finding a rhythm and we did a good job of that and controlling the backboards. We have a lot of options with this group, we must keep coming to practice every day looking to improve our togetherness. I think we are just starting to envision what kind of team we are capable of being."

"Special thanks to another great crowd. It was special to be back in this building and the Saratoga community and the Skidmore students always give us great support."
The Thoroughbreds will take a Thanksgiving holiday break, returning to action next Tuesday, Nov. 28 at Worcester State (7 p.m.)