Hot-Shooting Cougars Fly By Bears, 95-85

John Pisacreta was named NEWMAC Player of the Week after averaging 25 points per game last week.
John Pisacreta was named NEWMAC Player of the Week after averaging 25 points per game last week.

Worcester, Mass. – John Pisacreta (Andover, Mass.) pumped in a career-high 24 points and Clark University used a hot-shooting effort to race past Coast Guard Academy, 95-85, in New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon.

The win for the Cougars is their second in a row after a three-game losing streak and sends their home record to 5-1 this season as they embark on a quick three-game home stand.

Game Information:
Clark University 95, Coast Guard 85
Records: Clark University (10-5, 2-2 NEWMAC); Coast Guard (5-9, 1-3 NEWMAC)
Location: Kneller Athletic Center, Worcester, Mass.

How It Happened:
The Cougars opened the game on fire, shooting 63 percent from the floor in the opening 20 minutes to take a 45-37 halftime lead.

Clark saw its lead trimmed down to five at 47-42 less than three minutes into the second half but the Scarlet and White went on a 15-6 burst that featured back-to-back three-pointers from Luca McCormick (Bradenton, Fla.) and David Mercier (Milford, Mass.) to steal the momentum.

A few minutes later, an Adam Converse (Woodstock, Conn.) layup still had the Cougars ahead 64-50, but Micah Baldez scored eight straight points to get the Bears within six.

Things stayed close over the next few minutes and after consecutive hoops from Patrick Witkowski and Max Lampe, the score was 71-67 with less than eight minutes to go.

Later, as the game wore on, Devon Zych scored inside to get Coast Guard to within three at 75-72, but Pisacreta knocked down a three-pointer to ignite a 9-0 Clark run that made the score 84-72 with 2:43 to go.

Lampe connected on a three-pointer with less than a minute to go to keep hope alive for the Bears at 88-82, but the Scarlet and White went 7-for-8 from the free throw line in the final 52 seconds to seal the win.

Inside The Boxscore:
Clark shared the ball exceptionally well, dishing out 23 assists on their 30 made baskets. In addition to their passing, the Scarlet and White took advantage of their trips to the charity stripe, connecting on 26 of their 33 attempts, while the Bears went 16-for-21.

Both teams shot the ball well from behind the arc, connecting on 20 of their 43 combined attempts.

The Cougars cooled off in the second half, making just 52 percent of their shots but still shot a season-best 58 percent from the field for the game.

For The Foes:
Lampe drilled five three-pointers on his way to a team-best 21 points, while Baldez came off the bench to record 20 of his own on 7-for-16 shooting.

Witkowski chipped in with 14 points and six rebounds and Justin Kane added nine points off the bench.

Clark Stars:
In addition to his 24 points, Pisacreta racked up six assists and five steals in 34 minutes of action.

Brendan Kittredge (Clinton, Mass.) scored a career-best 18 points on 6-for-9 shooting and added five assists.

Joe Atkinson (Milford, Mass.) went 9-for-11 from the free throw line and finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists, while Lamar Berk (Saint Augustine, Fla.) provided 11 points.

Up Next:
Clark will return to action on Wednesday when they host WPI in huge Worcester city matchup that will be televised locally on Charter TV-3. Game time is slated for 7:00 p.m. The Bears meanwhile, will face a stiff test of their own when they travel to Springfield for a meeting with the Pride on Wednesday as well.

Dutchmen Hold Off Clark, 72-62
December 29, 2016 Dutchmen Hold Off Clark, 72-62