Worcester, Mass. – Clark University got a huge performance from its bench and the host Cougars rolled to a convincing 71-48 win over Newbury College in non-league women's basketball action on Monday afternoon.
The win for the Scarlet and White snaps a three-game losing streak in advance of huge league showdown with Smith on Saturday.
Score: Clark University 71, Newbury College 48
Records: Clark University 10-6; Newbury College 3-10
Location: Kneller Athletic Center, Worcester, Mass.
How It Happened:
The Nighthawks actually opened the game up leading 10-8 after a little more than five minutes were gone but Clark closed the half on a blistering 15-0 run to take a 23-10 lead into the second frame.
Most of the damage in that run was done by Cougar reserves as Maya Kerstetter (Northampton, Mass.) knocked down a three-pointer, Gwyneth Ivory (Ashland, Mass.) converted on the inside, Cori Ouellette (Madison, Conn.) turned in a conventional three-point play and Rachael Chen (Needham, Mass.) scored as well.
The lead jumped to 17 in the opening moments of the second quarter as Kerstetter found Chen for a mid-range jumper and the Ogechi Ezemma (Hope Valley, R.I.) scored inside.
Savannah Olsen (Battle Creek, Mich.) tried to keep Newbury close as she went five-for-six from the free throw line in the quarter, but back-to-back Ezemma layups pushed the Clark lead to 37-17 at halftime.
The Cougars ended any hopes of a Nighthawk comeback when they scored 26 third quarter points – 14 of which came from their bench. Kerstetter seemed to in the midst of it all, as she finished on the business end of great passes from Sam O'Gara (Worcester, Mass.) and Arielle Pierre (Valley Stream, N.Y.).
Clark stretched its lead to 26 as the third quarter ended with Sami Dokus (Littleton, Mass.) scored inside twice and then Pierre found Chen for another basket, making the score 63-37.
Inside The Boxscore:
The Scarlet and White forced 30 Newbury turnovers, which they turned into 27 points. After shooting less than 30 percent in each of their last two losses, Clark seemed to have found its offensive groove, connecting on 48 percent of its attempts, including 58 percent in the final 20 minutes.
For The Foes:
Destiney Spears (Arnold, Md.) was extremely effective all afternoon, finishing with a game-high 20 points on 8-for-14 shooting to go along with six rebounds and four steals.
Olsen, who was coming off of 30 points in the Nighthawks' loss to Daniel Webster on Saturday, struggled from the field (1-for-10) but went 8-for-10 from the foul line to finish with ten points, seven rebounds, four steals and three blocks.
Ezemma registered a team-best 14 points and seven rebounds in just 16 minutes, while O'Gara added 11 points, three assists and three steals.
Chen recorded her second career double figure scoring effort, posting ten points and four rebounds in 19 minutes of action, while Kerstetter (nine points, five assists) and Ivory (seven points, six rebounds) helped the Cougar reserves outscore the Newbury bench, 40-9.
Clark returns to the hardwood on Saturday when they host Smith College in New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action, while the Nighthawks will look to return to the win column on Saturday as well with a home contest against Mitchell.