Sheng, Lions Stun Cougars In Final Seconds, 65-62

Lamar Berk registered his second straight double-double, finishing with game-highs of 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Lamar Berk registered his second straight double-double, finishing with game-highs of 16 points and 12 rebounds.

Worcester, Mass. – Michael Sheng (Altadena, Calif.) hit a fall away three-pointer with 1.8 seconds left and visiting Emerson College rallied to stun host Clark University, 65-62, in New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon.

The win for the tough-minded Lions, snaps an 11-game losing streak and gives them their first conference win of the season, while ending the Scarlet and White's brief two-game win streak as they embark on a crucial three-game homestand.

For Emerson, the victory comes less than 72 hours after they lost to WPI in similar fashion as the Engineers' Chris Rodgers nailed a baseline jumper with 1.1 seconds left to hand the Lions a 62-61 defeat at home on Wednesday.

Game Information
Score:
Emerson College 65, Clark University 62
Records: Emerson College 5-16 (1-9 NEWMAC); Clark University (13-8, 5-5 NEWMAC)
Location: Kneller Athletic Center, Worcester, Mass.

How It Happened:
An Emerson win didn't look to be in the cards after Clark went into halftime ahead, 28-20. Almost immediately, however, the Lions began cutting into the Cougar advantage and when Corey Fitz (Los Altos, Calif.) knocked down a three-pointer to cap a 7-0 burst, the score was tied at 37-37 less than seven minutes into the second half.

That 7-0 run turned into a 17-0 spurt as Ben Holding (South Dartmouth, Mass.) scored inside, Geoffrey Gray (Newton, Mass.) registered five straight points and Kent Ellertson (Sudbury, Mass.) drilled a three-pointer. When the smoke cleared, the Lions had their biggest lead of the day, 47-37.

Clark battled back and got to within three on a John Pisacreta (Andover, Mass.) three-pointer, making the score 54-51, but the visitors pushed it right back to seven as Mac Sashin (Martha's Vineyard, Mass.) and John Geary (Duxbury, Mass.) each finished in the paint.

The Scarlet and White eventually tied the game with seven straight points in the form of two free throws from Luca McCormick (Bradenton, Fla.), a three-pointer from Joe Atkinson (Milford, Mass.) and two more from the charity stripe from Lamar Berk (Saint Augustine, Fla.).

Now tied at 58-58, Gray put the Lions back on top with two freebies, but then Matt Woods (Arlington, Mass.) found McCormick for a smooth baseline jumper that evened the score at 60-60 with 1:44 to go.

Clark moved in front when Atkinson made two more from the free throw line, but Sheng got free on the right wing and coasted in for the game-tying layup with 52 seconds left.

The Cougars had a chance to go back ahead but Brendan Kittredge (Clinton, Mass.) couldn't finish at the rim after absorbing some contact setting up Sheng's game-winning possession.

It didn't look as if the Lions would get off a quality shot as Sheng worked the clock down to under five seconds and made his move to the far left corner where his high-arching prayer was answered with 1.1 left.

Inside The Boxscore:
Despite owning the rebound advantage, 39-30, Clark was outscored in the paint by the Lions, 30-8, and Emerson took advantage of Clark's 14 turnovers, turning them into 19 points.

After shooting just 28 percent in the first half, the Lions couldn't miss in the final 20 minutes, connecting on 60 percent of their attempts to finish the game at 44 percent, including 50 percent from behind the arc.

For The Foes:
Sheng scored five of his team-best 16 points in the final 52 seconds of the game, while Gray added ten points and four rebounds.

Clark Stars:
Berk registered his second straight double-double, ending with 16 points and a game-high 12 rebounds and Pisacreta added 14 points and six boards. Atkinson had seven points, six assists and four boards and McCormick totaled seven points and six rebounds.

Up Next:
The Scarlet and White will look to return to the win column on Wednesday when they host Wheaton College, while the Lions host Coast Guard on Wednesday as well.

Dutchmen Hold Off Clark, 72-62
December 29, 2016 Dutchmen Hold Off Clark, 72-62