-Score: Framingham State University 72, Clark University 68
-Records: Clark (2-5), Framingham State (2-5)
-Location: Framingham, Mass.
-The Lead: Junior Manny Payton (Fitchburg, Mass.) led a trio of Rams in double figures with 25 points as the Framingham State University men's basketball team held off a second half comeback by Clark University for a 72-68 victory this afternoon in non-conference action at the Athletic Center.
HOW IT HAPPENED
-The first half went back and forth and saw three ties and four lead changes. The Rams jumped out to an early 9-4 lead on a three from Hampton, but the Cougars tied the game at 10-10 on a three-pointer from John Piscareta (Andover, Mass.).
-Clark led 21-19 on a layup by freshman Tyler Davern (Webster, Mass.) with just over eight minutes remaining, but the Rams closed the half with a 16-8 run started by a bucket in the pain on the break from Payton to take a 35-29 lead at the half.
-The Rams opened the second half with 16-4 run taking a 51-33 lead with 14:30 left in the second quarter. Payton scored four times on the spurt including a dunk in transition, while sophomore Steve Vayda (Oxford, Mass.) capped the spurt with a three from the corner.
-The Cougars responded with a 24-5 run of their own over the next eight minutes to take the lead, 57-56, with 6:41 on the clock. Junior Luca McCormick (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) tallied 11 points on the spurt, while freshman Biko Gayman (Fort Pierce, Fla.) added 10 including the go ahead jumper.
-The Rams tied the game on a free throw from senior Ben Roache (Dighton, Mass.) and then tallied the next four points on a layup from Charles Valburn (Hyde Park, Mass.) and a Tyri Hampton (Fitchburg, Mass.) jumper to take the lead for the good.
-Clark cut the lead to one with 2:34 remaining on a three by Davern, but Hampton sank a pair of freebies to push the lead back to three and Payton added a pair pushing the advantage to five with under a minute remaining.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
-Payton led all scorers with his game-high 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the floor to go along with seven rebounds and two assists. Hampton added 18 points, nine rebounds and two assists, while classmate Valbrun recorded a double double of 14 points and a game-high 11 boards. Roache chipped in with seven points, while Vayda added six off the bench.
-The Cougars were led by a team-high 23 points from McCormick. McCormick connected on 7-of-17 from the field and added five rebounds. Davern and classmate Gayman added 14 points apiece, while junior Adam Converse (Woodstock, Conn.) grabbed a team-high seven boards.
-The Rams are back in action on Tuesday night when they host Plymouth State in non-conference action at 6:00 p.m., while the Cougars are also in action Tuesday night at Fitchburg State at 7:00 p.m.