Salem, Mass. - Powered by five double figure
scorers including 20 points from Terrance Favors, Becker College
recorded a 72-71 win over Clark University in men's basketball
action on Wednesday afternoon in the final game of the Salem State
The win for the Hawks over the Cougars snaps a six-game losing streak to Clark, giving them their first ever win over their Worcester-area rivals.
The victory also comes 20 days after the Cougars collected an 82-72 home win over Becker back on December 10 at the Kneller Athletic Center.
This time, however, playing on a neutral surface, the Hawks rallied from an eight point halftime deficit and then a nine point second half deficit to secure their fourth win of the season.
The big run came midway through the second stanza when Becker went on a 16-2 spurt to turn the aforementioned 39-30 deficit into a 46-41 lead.
Clark fought back eventually tying the game at 59 on a Mitch Renshaw (Rutland, Mass.) three-pointer and then taking a brief 62-61 lead following a triple from freshman Marcus Armstrong (Malden, Mass.). The Cougars' last lead came at 63-62 following a Brian Vayda (Sturbridge, Mass.) free throw with 1:34 left.
From that point on, Becker made two layups and converted six straight free throws, while Clark missed two inside hoops and a free throw.
The Cougars inability to make free throws hurt, as they connected on just 17 of their 27 attempts. Clark also had 19 turnovers, shot 42 percent from the floor and just 33 percent (6-for-18) from behind the arc.
With Vayda leading the way, the Cougars held a 42-30 edge on the glass, leading to 12 second chance points.
The Hawks, meanwhile, did most of their damage on the interior, outscoring Clark 32-18 in the paint and with the help of their forced turnovers, held a 24-11 edge in points off of miscues.
The loss spoiled a career-high 31 points from senior Mark Alexander (Providence, R.I.), who was named to the all-tournament team, and a 19-point, career-high tying 15-rebound effort from Vayda. Renshaw chipped in with 12 points and eight boards.
In addition to Favors, D.J. Exum had an excellent all-around game for Becker as he totaled 10 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals in 38 minutes of action.
Clark, now 8-4 overall, returns to action on Wednesday, January 6 when they host Coast Guard in their 2009-10 NEWMAC opener.