Worcester, Mass. - Buoyed by hot three-point
shooting and a season-high 25 points from senior Mark
Alexander (Providence, R.I.), host Clark University
collected an 82-72 win over visiting Becker College on Thursday
evening at the Kneller Athletic Center.
The Cougars dropped in 13 triples led by Alexander's 5-for-6 performance from behind the arc and shot a sizzling 51 percent from the floor overall as they improved to 6-3 with one game remaining before the end of the first semester break.
The 13 made three-pointers are the most Clark has made since they made the same amount in a 92-90 win over Wheaton College back on February 23, 2008.
The Cougars made 28-of-55 shots in the game and had a season-best 18 assists attached to their baskets, while Becker, who shot just 40 percent in the first 20 minutes made 57 percent of their attempts in the second stanza.
Clark opened the game on a 15-2 run and lead by as many as 14 in the first ten minutes before the Hawks responded and cut the lead to six at 31-25 following a Rajai Leggett (New Haven, Conn.) jumper with 6:59 left in the first half. The Cougar advantage jumped back to 14 at 43-29 before the hosts settled for a 43-31 halftime lead.
As they did in the opening minutes of the game, Clark jumped on Becker early, netting the first four points, upping the lead to 16 and forcing a Hawks' timeout.
With Leggett as the driving force, Becker trimmed the Cougars' lead down to nine at 54-45, but Clark, with the aid of excellent perimeter shooting and a few interior baskets, eventually built their lead back to 20 on a couple of occasions late in the second half.
The Hawks mounted a rally in the waning minutes of the contest to get to as close as ten at 80-70, but Drew Billington (Fairfield, Conn.) weaved through the Becker trap and found David Opp (Hudson, Mass.) wide open underneath for the game sealing score.
Alexander, who scored a career-high 30 points against Becker back in 2007, made seven of eight shots and all six of his free throws in 28 minutes of action. He was joined in double figures by sophomore Brian Vayda (Sturbridge, Mass.), who totaled 13 points, nine rebounds and two blocks and senior Chris LoPiano (Franklin Square, N.Y.), who added 10 points and five assists.
Leggett, meanwhile, led the Becker attack registering 32 points and 13 rebounds on 13-for-24 shooting. Trey Jacobs (Lexington Park, Md.) came off the bench to collect 15 points and five boards, while sophomore Terrance Favors (Boston, Mass.) ended with 11 points, seven assists, four steals but ten turnovers.
Both teams are back in action on Saturday, with Clark hosting Nichols at 1 p.m. and Becker travelling to Fitchburg State.