-Score: Salem State 113, Clark University 88
-Records: Clark (3-7), Salem State (8-3)
-Location: Salem State University (Salem, Mass.)
-The Lead: The Clark University men's basketball team fell to the Vikings of Salem State University on the first day of the Salem State Holiday Classic on Thursday evening. Senior Luca McCormick (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) finished with a team high 19 points while freshman Anthony Grzembski (Webster, Mass.) finished with 18 points for the Cougars.
HOW IT HAPPENED
-Clark hopped out to an early 5-0 lead on a layup made by freshman Biko Gayman (Fort Pierce, Fla.) and a three-pointer made by Grzembski.
-The Vikings went on a 6-0 run to go ahead, 11-5 as senior Drew Healey (Lowell, Mass.) put up six points from two layups and a dunk.
-The Cougars came back within just a point of Salem State as Grzembski notched five points from a layup and a three with 14:08 on the clock in the first half (13-12).
-The Vikings led by as many as 16 points in the first half and took a 15-point lead into the halftime break.
-Healy dominated inside, going 9-for-9 from the field in the first half, scoring 18 points, as Salem State shot a blistering 61.8% (21-34) from the field. Buoyed by Healy's inside presence, the Vikings held a 32-14 advantage in the paint as they raced out to a 28-14 advantage.
-Tyler Davern (Webster, Mass.), who had eight first half points, brought Clark to within 28-17 on his first three-pointer of the half. However, the Vikings managed to keep the lead above 10-points for the remainder of the first, building its largest advantage of 16 points after a Jacob Lindland (Hamilton, Mass.) trey with 3:26 remaining for a 41-25 lead.
-Lindland's six first half points spearheaded the Vikings' bench, which outscored the Cougars' reserves 14-0 before halftime. Grzembski led Clark with 10 first half points as Clark shot 12-28 (42.9%) from the floor. Senior Shaquan Murray (Boston, Mass.) added nine first half points for Salem State.
-The Vikings extended their lead to 20 points early in the second half with a made layup from Murray with less than two minutes off the clock (53-33).
-A 4-0 run from the Cougars that included layups from Grzembski, Davern, and Kyle Coughlin (Beverly, Mass.) cut their deficit to 15 points with 15:23 to play (59-44).
-The Vikings took the ultimate 25-point victory, 113-88. . The Vikings kept up their shooting touch in the second half going 23-37 (62.2%).
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- McCormick finished with 19 points while Grzembski added 18 points and five assists for the Cougars. Davern ended with 17 points for Clark (3-7), which shot 33-68 (48.5%) for the game.
-Alex Santos (Lawrence, Mass.) and Sean Bryan (Lowell, Mass.) combined for 14 points and had eight assists apiece for Salem State, which improved to 8-3 on the year.
-Clark takes on Endicott College in their final game of the Salem State Tournament tomorrow, December 30th, at 5:00 p.m.