Cougars Outlast Smith, 59-51

Cougars Outlast Smith, 59-51

Worcester, Mass. – Maya Kerstetter and Haley Wilder each hit huge shots in the fourth quarter and Clark University held off Smith College, 59-51, in New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball action on Saturday afternoon.

The win for the Scarlet and White avenges a 13-point loss to the Pioneers less than two weeks ago and gives them back-to-back wins for the first time since late December.

Game Information:
Clark University 59, Smith College 51
Records: Clark University (11-6, 4-5 NEWMAC), Smith College (12-6, 5-4 NEWMAC)
Location: Kneller Athletic Center, Worcester, Mass.

How It Happened:
In a game that saw the two teams combine to shoot less than 30 percent from the field, Clark built a nine point lead as Kacey Legare (Chicopee, Mass.) found Wilder open underneath the basket for an easy hoop that made the score, 41-32 heading into the fourth quarter.

Smith opened the final stanza with three straight three-pointers – two from Lauren Bondi and the other from Meghan Holland - in the first two minutes of the quarter to knot the score at 41-41.

Then, when Holland scored inside two minutes later, the Pioneers had their first lead of the game.

Clark, meanwhile, was struggling to find its offense as Smith went on that 11-0 run, going 0-for-4 from the field and committing a turnover.

Kerstetter, however, kickstarted the Cougars moments after they fell behind when she dropped in an off balance jumper as the shot clock expired.

Kerstetter went on to make three free throws over the next two minutes and then back-to-back hoops from Ogechi Ezemma (Hope Valley, R.I.) put Clark in front, 50-45.

The game was still in doubt after Bondi knocked down a short baseline jumper with 1:08 to play, making the score 53-51.

Clark then found itself down to four seconds on the shot clock on the ensuing possession when Wilder dropped in a huge corner three-pointer to beat the clock and give the Scarlet and White breathing room and send them on to victory.

Inside The Boxscore:
The difference was at the free throw line, where Clark shot 30-of-41 from the charity stripe, while Smith, who took 20 three-point shots, was 12-for-20 from the line.

Clark held a 47-39 edge on the glass and a 13-4 advantage in second chance points.

For The Foes:
Bondi was the lone Pioneer in double figures with a game-high 17 and both Holland and Amanda Barriscale had seven each.

Clark Stars:
Aretha Sullivan
(Worcester, Mass.) was the only Clark student-athlete to reach double figures, finishing with a 13 points – courtesy of her 11-for-12 performance from the free throw line.

Ezemma totaled seven points and a game-best 12 rebounds, while Sam O'Gara (Worcester, Mass.) ended with nine points, four rebounds and five steals.

Up Next:
Clark is back in action on Wednesday when they host Wellesley, while the Pioneers step out of conference to host Trinity College on Wednesday as well.

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