Bristol, R.I. – Luca McCormick (Bradenton, Fla.) hit his second game-winning shot this week and the Clark University men's basketball team rallied for a thrilling 71-70 win over Newbury College at the Roger Williams Courtyard By Marriott Tip Off Classic on Saturday afternoon.
Score: Clark University 71, Newbury College 70
Records: Clark University 2-1, Newbury College 0-3
Location: Recreation Center Gymnasium, Bristol, R.I.
How It Happened:
The game was tied at 65-65 after McCormick connected on a pair of free throws with 3:13 left to play, but a personal 5-0 run from Davion Edwards had the Nighthawks in front, 70-65 with two minutes left to play.
From that point on, the Cougars would hold Newbury scoreless, ending the game on a 6-0 burst of their own to secure the victory.
First, McCormick made two more from the charity stripe, making the score 70-67 with less than two minutes to go. Clark was able to force a turnover on the Nighthawks' next possession, but when they took the ball, McCormick missed a three, David Mercier (Milford, Mass.) missed the putback and McCormick's follow up tip-in rolled off the rim before squirting out of bounds off of a Newbury player.
Lamar Berk (Saint Augustine Fla.) was fouled by the Nighthawks after the inbounds, but connected on just one free throw, inching the Cougars closer at 70-68 with 20 seconds remaining.
The Cougars immediately fouled Edwards on the inbounds play but he missed the front end of a 1-and-1, setting the stage for McCormick's heroics.
Just as he did in Tuesday's Midnight Madness win over Worcester State, McCormick took a feed – this time from Joe Atkinson (Milford, Mass.) instead of John Pisacreta (Andover, Mass.) – and found himself wide open at the top of the key. The sophomore sharpshooter drilled the go-ahead triple with ten seconds remaining on the clock.
Now ahead 71-70, the Clark defense held on as Jeduan Langston's shot with one second left was off the mark and as time expired.
Beyond The Boxscore:
The contest was nip and tuck the entire way and featured five ties and 16 lead changes. Clark was able to hold the Nighthawks without a basket for the final 2:53, denying former Boston Celtic great Dana Barros, now the head coach at Newbury College, his first collegiate coaching victory.
With their attacking style, Newbury actually shot the ball much better than Clark, 46% to 32%, but the Scarlet and White made 14 more free throws than the Nighthawks and controlled the glass, 53-32.
Inside The Numbers:
McCormick led all scorers with 22 points and ten rebounds, while Mercier also added a double-double with ten points and 11 boards of his own. Brendan Kittredge (Clinton, Mass.) was excellent off the bench, finishing with 13 points on 6-for-10 shooting in just 18 minutes.
Atkinson, meanwhile, racked up six points, six rebounds and a game-best six assists for Clark, who also got six points and eight rebounds from Berk.
The Cougars will return to action on Tuesday with a 4:00 p.m. tip off at Anna Maria.