-Score: Emerson College 97, Clark University 93
-Records: Clark (3-10, NEWMAC 0-2), Emerson (8-5, NEWMAC 2-0)
-Location: Worcester, Mass (Kneller Athletic Center)
-The Lead: The Clark University men's basketball team lost a tough battle to the Lions of Emerson College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Saturday afternoon. The game saw four ties and a total of five lead changes while the Cougars led by as many as 13 points in the first half. Ben Holding led the Lions to victory with 22 points while freshman Biko Gayman (Fort Pierce, Fla.) led all scorers with 28 points in the setback for Clark.
HOW IT HAPPENED
-The Cougars took an early 6-0 lead on a 3-0 run with a layup and jumper from Luca McCormick (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and a drive to the basket from Gayman.
-Emerson responded with a three-pointer from senior John Geary (Duxbury, Mass.) but freshman Tyler Davern (Webster, Mass.) hit a long range shot for the Cougars to put them back up by six points with 17:15 to play (9-3).
-Clark lead by as many as eight points and held onto their lead until the 12:08 mark when a 3-0 run from the Lions gave them the lead, 20-19. Geary and Michael Sheng (Altadena, Calif.) knocked down back-to-back three-pointers before freshman Ethan Gabert-Doyon (North Andover, Mass.) made the drive to the basket for the lead.
-Freshman Anthony Grzembski (Webster, Mass.) made his third three-pointer of the half to give the Cougars a 10-point lead with 29 seconds to play before the break. Geary responded with a three of his own and the Cougars took the 56-49 advantage heading into the halftime break
-Four Cougars finished the first half in double-digit scoring. McCormick posted 10 points, Grzembski and Davern each recorded 11 points and Gayman finished with 15 points before the break.
-The Lions started scoring in the second half as Sheng pulled up for a jumper just 20 seconds into play (56-51). Gayman knocked down a basket from behind the arc just 10 seconds later to give the Cougars an eight point lead at the 19:35 mark.
-Davern started a 3-0 run for the Cougars with 17:49 to play as he fought his way under the hoop for the 61-53 lead with 17:49 on the clock. A layup and made free throw from McCormick extended Clark's lead to 11 points just one minute later.
-The Lions found some momentum after junior Geoffrey Gray (Newton, Mass.) drained a three at the 15:40 mark. Senior Corey Fitz (Los Altos, Calif.) followed his lead with a three-pointer of his own and Ben Holding (South Dartmouth, Mass.) made a successful drive to the basket to make it a one possession game as they trailed by just three points, 64-61 with 13:38 to play.
-Back-to-back three-pointers from Holding and sophomore Jack O'Connor (Newport, R.I.) gave Emerson the lead back with 12:10 on the clock, 67-66. The visitors extended their run to 5-0 and added seven more points over the next two minutes for the eight point lead, 74-66, with 10:08 to play.
-The Cougars came back within two points after Gayman and sophomore Kyle Coughlin (Beverly, Mass.) knocked down back-to-back three-pointers (86-81) but they were never able to regain their lead and the Lions took the ultimate 97-93 victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
-Gayman led all scorers with 28 points while McCormick finished with 19 points in the loss.
-Holding led the Lions with 22 points and Gray recorded a double-double in the victory with 19 points and 14 rebounds.
-Emerson shot 53.8 percent from field goal range while Clark shot 46.6%.
-Clark shot an impressive 86.7 percent from the free-throw line as they went 13-for-15. The Lions shot just 61.9% from the free-throw line going 13-for-21.
-The Lions outrebounded the Cougars 45-28.
-Clark turned the ball over just nine times and forced the visitors to make 18 turnovers.
-Clark travels to Springfield College on Wednesday, January 10th for a NEWMAC game at 12:00 p.m.
-Emerson hits the road again and travels to MIT on the same day for a conference game at 7:00 p.m.