-Score: Clark University 67, Wheaton College 63
-Records: Clark (7-5, NEWMAC 1-2), Wheaton (6-6, NEWMAC 1-2)
-Location: Norton, Mass. (Emerson Gymnasium)
-The Lead: The Clark University women's basketball team battled to a 67-63 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) victory over the Lyons of Wheaton College on Wednesday evening. Senior Haley Wilder (Rindge, N.H.) led the Cougars to victory with 21 points on the night.
HOW IT HAPPENED
-Senior Ruthie Zientek (Holmdel, N.J.) and sophomore Natalie Wind (New Canaan, Conn.) both hit three-pointers in the first two minutes of the game to give Wheaton an early 6-2 lead.
-They held onto their lead until the 5:44 mark when a jumper from Wilder and a three-pointer from freshman Idalis Miranda (Naugatuck, Conn) gave the Cougars a 12-10 edge.
-The Cougars extended their run to 4-0 and took a seven-point lead on another Miranda three with 4:48 remaining in the quarter (17-10).
-The Lyons closed out scoring for the first quarter when Zientek knocked down a basket from behind the arc to close Clark's lead to 23-21.
-Freshman Jamad Fiin (Boston, Mass.) got things started in the second stanza when Miranda found her behind the arc for three with 9:17 on the clock (26-21).
-Junior Rachael Chen (Needham, Mass.) posted back to back jumpers to help the Cougars regain their seven-point lead with 7:37 to play before the break.
-Senior Rebecca Olivieri (Milton, Mass.) and Wind brought the Lyons back within one point of the Cougars as they both hit three-pointers halfway through the quarter (30-29).
-Clark never gave up the lead and took a 44-38 advantage into the halftime break as Dominique St. Pierre (Portsmouth, N.H.) made a successful drive to the basket to finish out the first half.
-The Cougars extended their lead to 11 points early in the third stanza as Wilder heated things up with five points in the first two minutes of play (51-40). They took their largest lead of the game, 12 points, on two made free-throws from junior Ogechi Ezemma (Hope Valley, R.I.) at the 5:48 mark (53-41).
-The Lyons finished out scoring on a three-pointer from Zientek and trailed by just six points heading into the final quarter (55-49).
-Wind got things started for the Lyons with a three-pointer in the first 15 seconds of the quarter and made it a one-possession game, 55-52.
-A three-pointer from senior Emily Cuthbertson (Hudson, N.H.) tied the game up 59-59 with 5:47 to play. After two minutes of scoreless play the Lyons took back the lead on a free-throw from first year Mikayla Pucci (Hopkinton, Mass.) (60-59).
-A 3-0 Cougar run highlighted by a big three-pointer from Wilder gave the visitors back a five point lead with under a minute to play, 65-60.
-The two teams traded free-throws in the final seconds of play, but the Cougars held onto the lead and took home the 67-63 NEWMAC victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
-Wilder led the Cougars with 21 points while Miranda added 17 points to go along with six rebounds, seven assists and two steals in the victory.
-Chen came off the bench with 12 points for Clark.
-Wind led the Lyons with 21 points in the setback. Chelsea Rairdon (Westbrook, Maine) added 11 points and six rebounds.
-Clark shot an impressive 50% from field goal range while the Lyons shot 30.2%.
-The Cougars outrebounded the Lyons 41-31.
-Clark's bench added 16 points in a game that saw two ties and three lead changes.
-Clark hosts MIT on Saturday, January 6 in NEWMAC action at 3:00 p.m.
-The Lyons are home on the same day as the host WPI in conference play at 1:00 p.m.