NEWMAC Semifinal Preview: WPI vs. Clark

NEWMAC Semifinal Preview: WPI vs. Clark

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On To The Next One
With the program's first postseason victory in more than a decade in their pocket, a suddenly surging Clark University squad faces intercity rival WPI in the second NEWMAC Tournament Semifinal on Saturday with a trip to the conference championship on the line. 

Game Rewind
In Wednesday's quarterfinal win over second-seeded Springfield College, the seventh-seeded Cougars held the Pride 12 points below their scoring average enroute to the 65-54 win. Clark led for large portions of the contest and when Springfield cut their advantage to five late in the fourth, Clark held them to one basket in the final 2:24.

Senior Step Up
In Wednesday's win over Springfield, senior Gwyneth Ivory (Ashland, Mass.) played in 101st consecutive contest. She finished with six points and five boards in helping the Cougars to victory.

Oh, So Close
Another star in the win over the Pride was Aretha Sullivan (Worcester, Mass.). The senior guard flirted with a triple double, totaling nine points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

Double Your Pleasure
Interior presence Ogechi Ezemma (Hope Valley, R.I.) recorded her 11th double-double of the season in the win over Springfield on Wednesday (19 points and ten rebounds). Only Smith College junior Kennedy Guest-Pritchett (13) has more double-doubles in the NEWMAC this season. 

Where The Wild Things Are
After an incredibly efficient offensive performance in Wednesday's victory (16 points, 5-for-6 shooting, 3-for-3 from behind the arc), Haley Wilder (Rindge, N.H.) is averaging 12.2 points while shooting 46 percent from the field and 46 percent from behind the arc in her last four games. 

Shall We Dance ... Again
Clark and WPI have met in the conference tournament on five previous occasions, with the Cougars holding a 3-2 edge. The Engineers did win the last postseason meeting - a 75-65 win back on February 22, 2012. WPI, which was seeded sixth, outscored the third seeded Cougars 41-29 in the second half on their way to the upset victory. 

Engineering Victories
The Engineers have won six straight games overall against Clark dating back to a 16-point win back on November 16, 2014. 

Clamping Down
In the two team's lone meeting this season back on January 28, WPI held the Cougars to a season-low 45 points and just 27 percent shooting. 

So Much History
The first time these two squads met in the postseason was during the NEW 8 era. On February 24, 1996, WPI bested the Cougars 88-81 in overtime as Danielle Batey played all 45 minutes and finished with 29 points. Clark's Meegan Garrity, who scored 43 in the semifinal win over Wheaton, pumped in 44, while Alicia Jones had ten points, 11 boards and five steals. 

19 Years Ago Yesterday February 24, 1998
The Scarlet and White were able to exact some revenge in the 1998 quarterfinal round when current assistant coach Marissa Garrity  had 16 points and eight rebounds and Nicole Dias finished with 24 points and ten assists in the 85-67 Clark win.

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