Worcester, Mass. – Buoyed by a hot-shooting night from Joe Atkinson (Milford, Mass.), Clark University pushed its way past Worcester-city rival Becker College, 79-67, in non-conference men's basketball action on Thursday evening at the Kneller Athletic Center.
Atkinson led the way offensively for the Cougars, dropping in all eight of his three-point tries and finishing with a career-high 32 points on an incredibly efficient 12-for-14 from the floor. The junior floor general also added ten rebounds to his statline for his second double-double in his last three games.
Score: Clark University 79, Becker College 67
Records: Clark University 4-2; Becker College 2-4
Location: Kneller Athletic Center, Worcester, Mass.
How It Happened:
The game actually started out as a back and forth affair and after a Khairi Mosely (Elizabeth, N.J.) steal and fast break finish, the Hawks were ahead 14-8.
Scoring continued to alternate over the next five minutes as John Pisacreta (Andover, Mass.) drilled a three-pointer to put Clark ahead but Becker responded right back when Mosely scored on a long jumper and then Antonio White (Middletown, Conn.) finished inside.
The Cougars moved ahead 21-18 after inside hoops from both David Mercier (Milford, Mass.) and Luca McCormick (Bradenton, Fla.) but the Hawks answered right back on a strong interior finish from Samuel Durodola (Rosedale, N.Y.).
Over the next two minutes, Clark began to separate, using a 9-0 run featuring a pair of Atkinson layups, an Atkinson triple and then an Adam Converse (Woodstock, Conn.) reverse layup to go ahead 30-20.
Becker fought back and got as close as three at 34-31 when Durodola finished inside again but the Scarlet and White went into the half ahead 44-35 thanks to two more Atkinson three-pointers, a layup from Mercier and a jumper from Brendan Kittredge (Clinton, Mass.).
Atkinson stayed hot from behind the arc in the first half of the second period and when he knocked down another with just under 13 minutes to play, the Clark lead had grown to 59-45.
The Hawks made a push, running off seven straight points on a Kyle Credle (Queens, N.Y.) three-pointer, then a steal and easy deuce from Credle and an Isaac Nze (Oviedo, Fla.) score.
Over the next four minutes, however, Clark put the game away with a 13-3 run that featured two more triples from Atkinson.
Becker finally snapped their five minute drought without a basket when Kareem Davis (Lowell, Mass.) converted a conventional three-point play, but moments later the Cougars advantage peaked at 18 when Evan Lerner (Hopedale, Mass.) scored inside to steal the win with less than three minutes to play.
Inside The Numbers:
With Atkinson's mind-numbing display from three-point land leading the way, Clark went 11-for-25 from behind the arc as a team and held a 44-31 edge on the glass. Included in that rebounding margin were 18 offensive rebounds which led to a 24-12 Cougar advantage on point in the paint.
For The Foes:
Durodola had a monster double-double, finishing with 19 points and a game-best 15 rebounds, while Credle added 18 of his own and Davis chipped in with ten.
Numbers, Numbers, Numbers:
Other than Atkinson, only McCormick reached double figures, ending with ten points, while Mercier chipped in nine points and four boards.
The Cougars are off until Tuesday when they play host to Fitchburg State at 7:00 p.m. The Hawks, meanwhile, will hit the hardwood on Saturday when they open up NECC play against Newbury College at 3:00 p.m.