Worcester, Mass. – Worcester State had four players in double figures and the host Lancers used a huge advantage on the interior to post a 70-61 win over Clark University in the opening round of the Worcester City Tournament on Friday evening.
Score: Worcester State 70, Clark University 61
Records: Worcester State 2-0, Clark University 1-1
Location: Lancer Gymnasium, Worcester, Mass.
How It Happened:
Worcester State used a 34-22 edge in points in the paint and a 37-31 advantage on the glass to aid in their victory. The Lancers also used their balanced offensive attack – led by the second straight excellent effort from reigning MASCAC Rookie of the Year Britt Herring.
The game was actually pretty tight in the beginning and looked to be headed into halftime knotted at 29-29 when Brianna Hackett drilled a three-pointer at the buzzer, sending the home team into the locker room ahead, 32-29. That shot ignited the Lancers as they opened the third quarter on a 6-0 run to move ahead 38-29.
Clark chipped away and got as close as six in the quarter when Gwyneth Ivory (Ashland, Mass.) scored inside but Worcester State had an answer and by the time the period ended, they were in front 51-41, courtesy of another Hackett buzzer-beating triple.
Even after Clark got as close as four on a Sami Dokus (Littleton, Mass.) three-pointer and again later on a pair of O'Gara free throws, the Lancers always had an answer.
When O'Gara got the Cougars to within four at 61-57 with a little more than three minutes to play, Worcester State put the game away with a 7-0 burst in less than a minute capped by a Herring jumper, making the score 68-57.
Inside The Numbers:
Clark got a stellar performance from Ogechi Ezemma (Hope Valley, R.I.), who just missed out on a double-double with a career-high 19 points to go along with nine rebounds and three steals. O'Gara was the only other Cougar in double figures with 15 points but Dokus chipped in with eight and Wilder added seven.
Hackett connected on six three-pointers for the Lancers on her way to a game-high 20 points, while Herring added 15 points on 7-for-9 shooting and Bianca Langford (Worcester, Mass.) notched a double-double with 11 points, ten rebounds and four assists.
Clark will face Becker College in the consolation contest of the Worcester City Tournament beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday.