-Score: Clark University 86, Springfield College 79
-Records: Clark (5-9, NEWMAC 1-2), Springfield (4-10, NEWMAC 1-2)
-Location: Worcester, Mass. (Kneller Athletic Center)
-The Lead: In Clark University Basketball's annual Get Fit Game, the Clark men's basketball team defeated the Pride of Springfield College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Wednesday afternoon. Clark Basketball welcomed close to 400 students from Worcester area elementary and middle schools to the Kneller Athletic Center. Woodland Academy, Claremont Academy, University Park Campus School, St. Peter's Central Catholic, and Thorndyke Road School brought a great deal of energy to the gymnasium as they cheered the men's basketball team to victory.
HOW IT HAPPENED
-The Pride led by as many as 10 points three times in the first half including the 40-30 lead they took into the halftime break. Junior Brendan Kittredge (Clinton, Mass.) brought Clark within three at the 15:46 mark when he stepped behind the arc for three (11-8). Junior Jake Ross (Northampton, Mass.) and his classmate Trey Witter (Unionville, Conn.) led Springfield in the first half with 12 points each. Sophomore Tyler Davern (Webster, Mass.) added 10 points and four rebounds in the first for Clark while Kittredge followed with nine points.
-Clark tied the game at the 13:58 mark in the second half when sophomore Anthony Grzembski (Webster, Mass.) sparked a run with back-to-back drives to the basket. Davern added a layup and first year Joel Arteaga (Wyncote, Penn.) capped off the rally with a three-pointer as the Cougars evened the score to 47-47. The second half saw five more lead changes and one more tie before Clark was able to pull ahead by as many as 10 when a three-pointer from first year Alex Nazaire (Ellicott, Md.) and a basket from Davern gave the Cougars an 80-70 advantage with 1:24 on the clock. Witter found space behind the arc for three with just nine seconds on the clock to bring Springfield back within five, but that was as close as they would come as the Cougars held on for the 86-79 victory.
-Grzembski fired things up for Clark in the final half putting up 17 points en route to the victory. Kittredge and sophomore Biko Gayman (Fort Pierce, Fla.) contributed to the momentum with 10 points each in the second half. Clark outscored the Pride 56-39 in the final 20 minutes and outrebounded them 20-5 to capture the final 86-79 NEWMAC victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
-Kittredge led Clark in scoring and rebounding with 19 points and eight rebounds. Grzembski added 17 points, three assists and two steals in the victory. Davern and Gayman rounded out double-digit scoring for the Cougars with 14 and 12 points respectively.
-Ross led all players with 28 points including a perfect 6-for-6 appearance at the free-throw line. Witter added 21 points and junior Heath Post (Cheshire, Conn.) put up 16 points for the Pride.
-Clark shot 58.2% from the field while Springfield shot 47.5%. The Cougars stayed hot behind the arc going 12-for-21 for 57.1% shooting.
-Clark was nearly perfect at the free-throw line, shooting 90.9% (10-for-11). Springfield shot 83.3% from the charity stripe (15-for-18).
-The Cougars outrebounded Springfield 37-21.
-The Pride turned the ball over just six times with Clark scoring 10 points off of those turnovers. Springfield forced 14 Clark turnovers and converted them into 26 points of their own.
-Clark travels to Babson College on Saturday, January 12th for a NEWMAC matchup at 2:00 p.m.
-Springfield is back at home on Saturday, January 12th when they host Emerson in conference action at 3:00 p.m.