Worcester, Mass. – Wheaton College got 15 points from Quinton Dale (Winthrop, Mass.) to lead a balanced offensive attack and the Lyons held off Clark University, 73-68, in a crucial New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's basketball matchup on Wednesday evening.
The win for Wheaton not only snaps their five-game losing streak but creates a logjam in the middle of the conference standings with three regular season games remaining.
Score: Wheaton College 73, Clark University 68
Records: Wheaton College (10-12, 5-6 NEWMAC); Clark University (13-9, 5-6 NEWMAC)
Location: Kneller Athletic Center, Worcester, Mass.
How It Happened:
The game was tied, 36-36, early in the second half when the Lyons took the lead for good, going on a 16-4 run to take a 52-40 lead. That scoring burst featured a traditional three-point play by David Carbonello (Windham, Mass.), a pair of layups by Dale and was capped by a Timothy Berry (Sterling, Mass.) corner three-pointer.
When Riley Tetreault (Walpole, Mass.) connected on his second three-pointer a few minutes later, the Lyon advantage was still 58-47 but Clark whittled it down to 58-52 on a David Mercier (Milford, Mass.) layup and a John Pisacreta (Andover, Mass.) long range bomb.
The Cougars worked the lead down to five on a few occasions over the next few minutes but every time they did, Wheaton had an answer. First, two free throws by Mercier was followed by a Ryan Fogarty (Walpole, Mass.) inside finish and then layups by Lamar Berk (Saint Augustine, Fla.) and Luca McCormick (Bradenton, Fla.) were answered with Dale and Fogarty baskets.
McCormick worked his way free across the lane to finish a lefty scoop shot and after a Mercier steal, Pisacreta drilled a leftside triple to make the score 69-68 with 1:13 to go.
The lead went back to three after a pair from the charity stripe by Alex DuBrow (Foxboro, Mass.) with 51 seconds left. Mercier's ensuing jumper in the lane was turned aside by Dale but the Cougars able to maintain possession. DuBrow, however, was able to intercept an inbounds pass and after he was fouled, he went 1-for-2 at the line to seal the win for the visitors.
Inside The Boxscore:
Wheaton shot 46 percent from the field for the game, including 50 percent (13-for-26) in the second half. The difference, however, proved to be free throw shooting as the Lyons made their first 18 and finished 22-for-25, while the Cougars, went 11-for-21 from the charity stripe.
For The Foes:
In addition to his team-best 15 points, Dale added six rebounds, while both Carbonello and DuBrow totaled 13 points.
Mercier had 13 of his game-high 21 points in the first half, going 8-for-11 overall, including 3-for-3 from behind the arc.
Joe Atkinson (Milford, Mass.) totaled 16 points, 12 rebounds and four assists, while both McCormick and Berk each chipped in with ten.
What This Means:
The win for the Lyons gives them a season sweep over the Scarlet and White and any tiebreaker, should postseason determination come down to that. Both Babson and MIT have secured first-round byes in the upcoming league tournament, while all six other teams are still alive for the final three spots. Clark, WPI, Springfield and Wheaton all sit at 5-6 in conference contests, while Emerson and Coast Guard are both 2-9.
Wheaton visits MIT on Saturday, while the Cougars welcome the nation's No. 1 team, Babson College to the Kneller on Senior Day. Tipoff is slated for 3:00 p.m.