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Saints men outlast Clippers; women’s team suffers first loss

North Country’s Tarique Foggie beats Maine Machias defender Isaiah Plange to score on a layup during the second half of Tuesday’s game in Saranac Lake. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

SARANAC LAKE — The North Country Community College men’s basketball team opened the second semester with a win, taking down University of Maine at Machias 83-76 on Tuesday at home.

The Saints owned a 41-27 lead at halftime and then held on down the stretch as the Clippers closed the deficit to a single basket late in the game. NCCC clung to a 75-73 lead with 1:24 left on the game-clock and then took advantage at the free throw line as the Clippers were forced to foul.

Four players reached double figures for North Country. Carol Davis led the winners with a game-high 22 points, Tarique Foggie followed with 16 points, Lashawn Smith Jr. added 15 and Von Livingston chipped in with 10 points.

“It was our first game back,” Saints head coach Daryl Crist said. “We played well, we played hard and obviously we have to clean some stuff up going forward.”

Maine Machias was paced by Theodore Wolfe’s 16 points, Jaylen Moreno added 13, and Matthew Kenna and Ramon Gil each scored a dozen points in the loss.

Crist said he was hoping his team could surge out to an even larger lead during the earlier stages of the second half, but turnovers played a part in the Clippers comeback.

“It was back-and-forth a little bit in the first half, and then we stretched it out by halftime,” Crist said. “Our defense was good. We held them to 27. I was happy to see that. We’ve been good when we play defense.

“I thought that we had a big enough lead in the second half to where we could put it away, and I think the first game back, it was tired legs, tired bodies, tired minds,” Crist continued. “We had some costly turnovers, we didn’t rebound well and they made some shots. It was a game of runs, and that’s why you work hard to get a nice lead, a cushion. We made free throws down the stretch.”

Crist said he knew that the Clippers had some good shooters and was pleased with his team’s effort overall while getting the win.

“You could see it was a 14-point lead, and when they hit two or three in a row, it doesn’t take long to get it down there,” he said.

The Saints improved to 7-4 and return to Region III action when they next host Schenectady on Thursday starting at 7 p.m.

“If we keep working, keep playing defense, share the ball, play it the right way, we’re talented enough to do well,” Crist said.

Maine Machias will play again in the area Wednesday in a game against Paul Smith’s College starting at 4 p.m. The Bobcats took down the Clippers 83-79 in overtime on Friday at the Maine Machias campus.

WOMEN

Maine Machias 72, North Country 63

SARANAC LAKE — The North Country Community College women’s basketball team is no longer unbeaten.

On Tuesday in the opening game of a doubleheader at home, the Saints fell 72-63 to the University of Maine at Machias.

The Saints entered the game as the nation’s second-ranked team in the NJCAA Division III women’s poll and had just claimed two home victories over the weekend in their own North Country Invitational tournament, with both wins coming by more that 20-point margins.

North Country survived the first half with a 31-24 lead over Maine Machias, but really struggled after intermission as the Clippers outscored the Saints 48-32 to pull away.

Clippers senior center Tate Dolley was a big-time factor in the win, scoring 30 points, which included a 12-for-13 effort at the foul line. Guard Caitlyn Lyons added 20 points in the victory and teammate Cassie Wilcoxson chipped in 11 points.

The Clippers improved to 10-4 overall with the victory.

Kayla Carder led the Saints with 17 points. Also for North Country, Talesa Campbell scored 12 points, Dontasia Simpson drained 11 points and Lauren Denny added 10.

North Country’s women dropped to 13-1 with the loss against Maine Machias, a four-year university. The Saints return to NJCAA Region III action on the road Saturday at Herkimer.