Cougars' Run Ends In Second Round

Cougars' Run Ends In Second Round

 Reading, Pa. - Midnight came for Clark University's Cinderella run.

Randolph-Macon used a game-sealing 14-4 run that turned a two-point deficit into an 11-point advantage helping the Yellow Jackets end Clark's magical run with a 70-60 win over the Cougars in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament on Saturday evening at Albright College's George C. Bollman Center.

The Cougars' season ends at 17-13, following an improbable run to the NCAA Tournament that began with a three wins in the NEWMAC Tournament that led to the conference tournament title and the automatic bid into the field of 61.

Clark played 39 minutes without four-time all-conference performer Mark Alexander (Providence, R.I.), who left the game less than a minute into the game with an injury and didn't return.

Despite playing without Alexander, Clark had the lead with less than ten minutes left in the game but the Cougars went scoreless for five minutes in the second half when the Yellow Jackets went on their game-altering run.

Clark wouldn't go away however, as the Cougars started dropping in triples to close within six, but Clark couldn't get any closer.

Randolph-Macon (24-6), meanwhile, advances to the Sweet Sixteen under first-year head coach Nathan Davis to face DeSales University next Friday night.

Trailing 31-25 at the half, the Cougars opened the half on an 8-1 run to take a 33-32 lead with all eight coming from senior sharpshooter Jack Minister (Manchester, England).

After committing just an average of 8.6 turnovers in the last three games, Clark coughed up the ball 17 times in the loss to the Yellow Jackets.

Minister paced the Cougars with a game-high 18 points, while Brian Vayda (Sturbridge, Mass.) followed up his 28-point, 10-rebound effort with a 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Slader Lyell (Portsmouth, R.I.) chipped in with 11 points and four rebounds.

Randolph-Macon, whose leading scorer on the season is reserve Danny Jones, placed four players in double figures led by Jones and Calvin Croskey with 15 each. Eric Pugh, who scored nine of his 11 from the free throw line, joined them in double digits as well as freshman Adam Desgain (14 points).

Clark, who won four games in NEWMAC regular season games, won four in the 2010 postseason. Despite the loss, the Cougars' future looks bright with the return of first-team all-conference performer in Vayda and classmate Mitch Renshaw (Rutland, Mass.) and the emergence of freshman Tucker Esborn (Branford, Conn.)

 

Cougars Escape With 54-46 Win
November 24, 2009 Cougars Escape With 54-46 Win