-Score: Springfield College 86, Clark University 71
-Records: Clark (3-16, NEWMAC 0-8), Springfield (13-6, NEWMAC 7-1)
-Location: Worcester, Mass. (Kneller Athletic Center)
-The Lead: The Clark University men's basketball team dropped a tightly matched battle with the Pride of Springfield College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Saturday afternoon. Junior Luca McCormick (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) finished with 23 point and 12 rebounds for a double-double to go along with four steals in the setback.
HOW IT HAPPENED
-The Pride started the game on a 3-0 run for an early 6-0 lead. Jake Ross (Northampton, Mass.) knocked down back to back layups for four of the six points in the first two minutes of the game.
-A three-pointer from Adam Converse (Woodstock, Conn.) got the Cougars on the board at the 17:39 mark. Three points from McCormick on and and-one play brought the Cougars within two and freshman Tyler Davern (Webster, Mass.) found his way through the defense under the hoop and put one in to tie it up at 8-8 with 16:26 to play.
-Springfield took an 11-point lead on back-to-back threes from seniors Ben Diamond (New York, N.Y.) and Andy McNulty (West Springfield, Mass.) at the 13:39 mark but the Cougars fought back to come within four when John Pisacreta (Andover, Mass.) and Converse hit shots from behind the arc, 27-23 with 8:50 to play.
-A 5-0 run capped off on a three from Cam Earle (South Hadley, Mass.) extended the visitor's lead to 14 and another three from Earle just 30 seconds later gave them a 42-26 lead with 4:10 to play in the half.
-Pisacreta added seven points in one minute with a pair of free-throws, a three-pointer, and a layup to bring Clark within back within eight and the Pride took the 44-36 lead heading into the halftime break.
-Converse got things going in the second half with a quick layup and the Cougars trailed by six. The Pride responded with a 3-0 run to extended their lead back to 12 but a three from McCormick and another bucket from Converse brought Clark within seven, 50-43, with 17:16 to play.
-Pisacreta found freshman Patrick Bugler (Marblehead, Mass.) in the corner who knocked down a three and Clark trailed by just six, forcing a Springfield timeout.
-The Pride gave themselves some breathing room again when they went up by 12 on a jumper and layup from Heath Post (Cheshire, Conn.), 66-54, with under 11 minutes to play. Clark responded with a 3-0 run and closed the gap back to six on a pair of free-throws from McCormick with 9:05 to play.
-With under five minutes to play McNulty found Earle behind the arc for three and the Pride took back an 11 point lead, 77-66.
-A 6-2 run to end the game gave Springfield the ultimate 86-71 NEWMAC victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
-McCormick led Clark with 23 points, 12 rebounds, and four steals. Pisacreta added 18 points and Converse chipped in with 14 points to round up double-digit scoring for Clark.
-Post earned a double-double with 18 points and a game high 16 rebounds to lead the Pride to victory. Ross led all scorers with 24 points on the day.
-Springfield shot 50% from the field while Clark shot 39.7%.
-The Cougars were 13 for 17 at the free-throw line for a 76.5 shooting percentage. The Pride shot 62.5% from the free-throw line.
-Springfield edged Clark in rebounding, 41-34.
-Clark hosts city rival WPI in NEWMAC action on Tuesday, January 30th at 7:00 p.m.
-Springfield is back at home when they host Coast Guard Academy on Wednesday, January 31st in conference play at 7:30 p.m.