Worcester, Mass. - Fueled by a terrific
all-around game from senior Maurice Horton, Worcester State handed
visiting Clark a 69-64 loss on Thursday evening in a non-conference
matchup of the two crosstown rivals.
The win for the Lancers evens their overall record at 2-2 and sends the Cougars to their second straight defeat, dropping their overall record to 4-3 heading into Saturday's matchup with Endicott.
Worcester State shot a sizzling 53 percent from the field and made 7-of-15 shots from three-point land, while Clark shot 42 percent and made just 7 of its 22 tries from behind the arc.
In the last two games, Clark has connected on only 10 of its 44 attempts from three-point land.
The game was tight for most of the first half but the Lancers seized control in the waning minutes behind Horton. He drilled a deep three from the top of the key and then rejected a Clark shot attempt at the buzzer, preserving the WSC 38-33 lead at halftime.
Clark closed to within three at 44-41 following a short jumper from Reed Powell (Worcester, Mass.) but the Lancers went on an 11-3 run to give them their biggest lead to that point at 55-44 with a little less than eight minutes remaining.
Worcester State's advantage grew to as much as 12 following a conventional three-point play from Horton with 4:35 left, but Clark clawed back via an 11-3 burst capped by a Mark Alexander (Providence, R.I.) steal and finish, making the score 66-62 with 41 seconds left.
The Cougars would get no closer however, as the Lancers made enough free throws to stave off Clark's game-ending surge.
Worcester State had three players reach double figures led by Horton, who registered a game-high 27 points to go along eight rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Joining him with double digit scoring performances were Dave Douilette (12 points, eight rebounds) and Jamaal Atkins, who finished with 10 points and six rebounds on a perfect 4-for-4 shooting.
Sophomore Brian Vayda (Sturbridge, Mass.) led the Cougars with 20 points, five rebounds and three steals, while Alexander added 17 points and five boards as well.
Clark's meeting with the Gulls tips at 1:00 p.m. in Beverly.