Clark Stumps Springfield in NEWMAC Overtime Victory, 51-50

Clark Stumps Springfield in NEWMAC Overtime Victory, 51-50

THE BASICS

-Score: Clark University 51, Springfield College 50

-Records: Clark (10-12, NEWMAC 4-9), Springfield (17-6, NEWMAC 11-3)

-Location: Worcester, Mass. (Kneller Athletic Center)

-The Lead: A full team effort from the Clark University women's basketball team earned them an overtime victory over No. 1 Springfield College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Thursday evening. Junior Rachael Chen (Needham, Mass.) led all scorers with 15 points to lead Clark to victory. Freshman Idalis Miranda (Naugatuck, Conn.) added 11 points for Clark including the game-winning three-pointer.

HOW IT HAPPENED

First Quarter

-Sophomore Alex Goslin (South Windsor, Conn.) got the ball rolling with a three-pointer for the Pride with just 40 seconds knocked off the clock. They extended their early lead to 5-0 as junior Gracie Restituyo (Barrington, R.I.) made her way under the hoop for two. A pair of free-throws from both juniors Ogechi Ezemma (Hope Valley, R.I.) and Maya Kerstetter (Northampton, Mass.) brought the Cougars back within one, 5-4, but Springfield responded with three from Emily Jacques (Auburn, Maine) to extend their lead back to four with 5:32 to play.

-Chen drifted two jumpers over the fingertips of Springfield defenders to bring Clark within two (10-8) with 3:27 to play.

-Springfield wrapped up the first quarter with another three-pointer from Jacques and a bucket from first year Maddy Fay (Braintree, Mass.) for the 15-9 lead heading into the second stanza.

Second Quarter

- Freshman Allie Brennan (North Haven, Conn.) heated things up for the Pride when Fay found her in the corner for a jumper and the 17-9 lead. Miranda hit a trey with 7:45 on the clock to bring the cougars within five of the visitors, 17-12.

-Heather King (Lebanon, N.H.) and Restituyo put up back to back baskets for the Pride but Clark responded with strong defense and a 2-0 run of their own on jumpers in the paint from Chen and trailed by just seven with 4:06 to play.

-Kerstetter found Senior Haley Wilder (Rindge, N.H.) who knocked down a three as the Cougars trailed by six, 25-19, with 3:15 to play.

-Springfield finished on a 2-0 run with a jumper and layup from Jacques for the 31-21 lead heading into the halftime break.

Third Quarter

-Ezemma started the half with three points on an and-one play for the Cougars and brought the hosts back within seven of the Pride, 31-24. Clark added another three when senior Dominique St. Pierre (Portsmouth, N.H.) drained one from behind the arc to close the gap to five, 32-27, with 9:08 on the clock.

-Clark played strong defense over the next three minutes as they held off Springfield. They put up a 3-0 run with baskets from Ezemma, Chen, and Kacey Legare (Chicopee, Mass.) and trailed by just one basket, 34-33, with 4:20 on the clock.

-Fay powered her way under the basket to put the Pride back up by three, but Chen continued her hot streak from the center of the paint as she sank another jumper to bring the Cougars back within one, 36-35, with 3:10 to play.

-Clark took their first lead of the game when Ezemma knocked down two at the free-throw line for the 37-36 advantage with a minute on the clock. Miranda found some room behind the arc and drained a three to give Clark a 40-38 lead but Fay knocked down a layup for the Pride to tie the game up at 40 apiece heading into the final stanza.

Fourth Quarter

-After trading buckets to start the quarter the Cougars played outstanding defense and Ezemma found Legare wide open under the hoop for two and the Cougars took a 44-42 lead with 7:51 remaining.

-Clark continued to put the pressure on and forced back to back Pride turnovers. They capitalized on the turnovers when Miranda fed the ball to Chen who was on her hotspot and hit another jumper for the 46-42 lead.

-The Cougars continued their strong defense and held the Pride off for over two minutes. Ezemma powered up to the hoop for two with 4:15 on the clock and gave the Cougars the 48-44 advantage and forced the Pride to call a full timeout.

-Jacques found Goslin on the wing who hit the jumper to tie it up 48-48 with just 1:17 to play. Strong defense from both teams sent the game into overtime at 48-48.

OT

-The first two minutes of overtime were scoreless until Goslin put the Pride on the board with a jumper and the 50-48 advantage at the 2:59 mark.

-Miranda hit a deep three-pointer with just 1:20 to play to give the Cougars a 51-50 advantage and the Cougar crowd was roaring.

-The Clark defense proved to be the deciding factor as the hosts took the final 51-50 victory.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

-Chen led the Cougars with 15 points on the night. Miranda and Ezemma added 11 points each in the victory and Wilder led the Cougars with 10 rebounds.

-Jacques led the Pride with 10 points while Goslin followed her with nine points. Restituyo claimed a game high 13 rebounds.

-Clark shot 35.2% from the field (19-for-54) while the Pride shot 27.4% (20-for-73).

-Springfield edged the Cougars in rebounding, 49-47.

-Clark forced the visitors to turn the ball over 15 times and turned those in 10 points. Springfield forced 23 Clark turnovers and added 19 points off of the turnovers.

-Springfield led by as many as 10 points with 49 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

UP NEXT

-Clark hosts WPI in NEWMAC action on Saturday, February 10th for senior day at 1:00 p.m. Clark University also hosts the women's and men's basketball Alumni Games on February 10th.

-Springfield is back at home on the same day when they host Babson at 1:00 p.m. for a conference matchup.