Worcester, Mass. – Behind 24 points from Aretha Sullivan (Worcester, Mass.) and a career-high from Haley Wilder (Rindge, N.H.), Clark University snapped its four-game losing streak with a 76-58 win over Emerson College in New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball action on Saturday afternoon.
Score: Clark University 76, Emerson College 58
Records: Clark University (13-10, 6-9 NEWMAC); Emerson College (11-12, 4-10 NEWMAC)
Location: Kneller Athletic Center, Worcester, Mass.
How It Happened:
The Cougars used a strong interior presence and excellent passing in snapping their losing streak and closing in on the program's first postseason berth since the 2011-12 season.
It was close for most of the opening half but when Sullivan picked Quinn Madden's (Mokena, Ill.) pocket and finished on the break on the other end late in the second quarter, the Scarlet and White had their biggest lead at 28-19.
Minutes later the Cougars were still ahead 29-22 when Wilder drilled a three-pointer with 17 seconds left in the first half, sending Clark into intermission in front, 32-22.
The pace picked up significantly in the third quarter as Sullivan came out on fire, connecting on a trio of trifectas in the first four plus minutes of the half. When she dropped in her third of the period, the Cougar advantage had ballooned to 45-31.
Emerson kept it close as Sierra Ducey (Poway, Calif.) scored on a quick shot and then Elizabeth Horan (Ashland, Mass.) nailed a three-pointer, but the Scarlet and White pushed the lead to 16 when Sam O'Gara (Worcester, Mass.) found Wilder of a wing jumper, then O'Gara herself stepped in the Emerson passing lane and went coast-to-coast and finally Gwyneth Ivory (Ashland, Mass.) connected with Wilder for an easy hoop.
In front 57-44 to start the final period, a Horan triple for the Lions was answered by a pair of Wilder layups and another from Ogechi Ezemma (Hope Valley, R.I.).
Emerson was able to whittle the Cougar lead down to 11 on a few occasions, the last time coming on a Leena Kardacz (Harleysville, Pa.) three-pointer with 3:28 to play. The Cougars responded again, however, this time defensively, holding the Lions without a basket for the remainder of the contest and when O'Gara found Kacey Legare (Chicopee, Mass.) open on the left baseline for an easy jumper with 2:23 left to play, the game was essentially over.
Inside The Box Score:
In a game that featured 94 missed shots, Clark held a huge 57-42 advantage on the glass and a 32-18 edge on points in the paint. The Cougars corralled 16 offensive rebounds which led to 16 second chance points and had 20 assists on their 28 baskets.
For The Foes:
Horan came off the bench and finished with 14 points in 27 minutes, while Charlie Boyle (Scots Valley, Calif.) recorded a double-double with ten points and ten rebounds. Ducey did a little bit of everything for the Lions, totaling six points, 15 rebounds, five assists and three blocks.
Sullivan finished with 24 points and seven rebounds in just 25 minutes in her final home game, while Wilder ended with a career-high 17 points and five boards.
O'Gara doled out 11 assists to go with her six points and Ezemma recorded her tenth double-double of the season with 14 points and 15 rebounds.
Prior to the game the women's basketball program honored the three members of their Class of 2017. They included: Sami Dokus (Littleton, Mass.), Ivory and Sullivan.
Emerson will play host to Smith on Wednesday, while Clark will play a back-to-back to end the regular season. They visit Springfield on Wednesday before traveling to Simmons on Thursday.