Worcester, Mass. - Powered by the second game
of at least 30 points this season from senior forward Mark
Alexander (Providence, R.I.), Clark raced past
visiting Springfield College, 71-54, snapping the Pride's five-game
winning streak on Saturday afternoon at the Kneller Athletic Center
in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's
With the win, the Cougars improve to 13-10 overall and 4-6 in league action, while the Pride slip to 12-11 and 7-3 in NEWMAC play. More importantly, Clark kept pace with the other team vying to host a NEWMAC Quarterfinal game on Wednesday, February 24. The Cougars are locked in a tie for fourth with Wheaton - a team Clark split their season series with.
Things started off in fine fashion for Springfield as they scored the game's first five points and led for the game's first nine minutes.
The Cougars then took control, going on a 10-0 run to take a 20-13 lead with 9:41 left in the first half. Clark maintained their advantage as the first half wound down and closed the stanza on a quick 5-0 spurt from Alexander, who dropped in a three-pointer and then banked in a fadeaway jumper with four seconds left to give the Cougars a 32-22 halftime edge.
Springfield cut the Clark lead down to four in the first few minutes of the second half but triples from Alexander and Slader Lyell (Portsmouth, R.I.) pushed the Cougars advantage back to double digits with a little more than 15 minutes remaining.
Clark put the game away with a 13-4 run over a five minute span that featured three-pointers from Lyell and Brian Vayda (Sturbridge, Mass.) and another finish inside from Vayda off a feed from Reed Powell (Worcester, Mass.).
The lead ballooned to as many as 19, following a baseline one-handed dunk from Alexander before the all five seniors, who were honored before the game, were taken out to a rousing ovation.
Clark shot 42 percent from the field, including 53 percent in the second half, and made 16-of-17 free throws. Springfield, meanwhile, shot a frigid 29 percent from the field and made just 24-of-41 free throws.
In addition to his 30 points on 10-for-17 shooting, Alexander added a season-high seven assists, three rebounds and committed just one turnover in 32 minutes.
Vayda, who came off the bench for the first time in his career, finished with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Lyell registered 11 points, nine rebounds and four steals - all season highs.
Springfield was paced by Pat Crean, who tallied 18 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, and Evan Christner's 11 points and eight rebounds.
Clark will play their final regular season home game on Wednesday when they host Babson, while the Pride travels to WPI.