Worcester, Mass. – Powered by double-doubles from both Ogechi Ezemma (Hope Valley, R.I.) and Sam O'Gara (Worcester, Mass.), host Clark University ran its winning streak to three straight as they pulled away from Wellesley College, 72-54, in New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball action on Wednesday evening.
Score: Clark University 72, Wellesley College 54
Records: Clark University (12-6, 5-5 NEWMAC); Wellesley College (8-8, 4-6 NEWMAC)
Location: Kneller Athletic Center, Worcester, Mass.
How It Happened:
The game was a back and forth affair even midway through the third quarter when Clark used a stifling defensive effort to turn the close contest in what turned out to be a runaway.
Ailis Hanley (Cranston, R.I.) made a mid-range jumper with 4:31 left in the third quarter, bringing the Blue to within one at 43-42. That Hanley basket would Wellesley's last for nearly nine minutes of game action as Clark put together an impressive 18-2 run.
The Cougar burst, which was only interrupted by a pair of free throws from Kendall You Mak (San Francisco, Calif.), spanned parts of both the third and fourth quarters and featured four points from Ezemma, four more from O'Gara and back-to-back three-pointers from Aretha Sullivan (Worcester, Mass.).
After Sullivan scored the final two points of the outburst on a pair from the charity stripe, the score was 61-44 with a little more than six minutes left to play.
Wellesley only got as close as 14 the rest of the way, the final time coming on a Kayla Jang (South Pasadena, Calif.) three-pointer with 1:38 to play, but that was immediately answered by an inbounds pass from Haley Wilder (Rindge, N.H.) to O'Gara, who outraced the Blue defense to the hoop for the game's final basket.
Inside The Numbers:
The Cougars took advantage of 23 Wellesley miscues, turning them into 24 points and they also won the battle on the interior, outscoring the Blue 36-24 in the paint and holding a 42-33 bulge on the glass.
For The Foes:
Caitlin Aguirre (El Paso, Texas) ended with a team-best 15 points, while Hanley added 12 points of her own in only 24 minutes of action. That due combined to shoot 12-for-23 from the field, while the other Wellesley student-athletes went 9-for-36.
Ezemma racked up game-highs of 23 points – 19 of which came in the first half – and 12 rebounds, notching her eighth double-double of the season.
O'Gara, meanwhile, stuffed the stat sheet with 15 points, 11 assists and six steals and Sullivan just missed out on a double-double of herself with 15 points and nine rebounds.
Both teams are back in action with league contests on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. The Blue hosts Coast Guard, while the Cougars make the short trip down the street to face WPI.