-Score: Clark University 51, Nichols College 43
-Records: Clark University (5-3), Nichols College (2-5)
-Location: Worcester, Mass. (Kneller Athletic Center)
-The Lead: The Clark University women's basketball team defeated the Bison of Nichols College in non-conference action on Saturday afternoon. Freshman Idalis Miranda (Naugatuck, Conn.) led Clark to victory with a game high 17 points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
-The Bison started the game on a 3-0 run for an early 6-0 lead but the Cougars scored 13 unanswered points to pull ahead 13-6 at the end of the first quarter.
-Freshman Hannah Favaloro (Blackstone, Mass.) got things started for Clark with a made free throw at the 5:45 mark.
-Juniors Kacey Legare (Chicopee, Mass.) and Rachael Chen (Needham, Mass.) both added layups and Haley Wilder (Rindge, N.H.) put in the equalizer at the free throw line with three minutes to play in the quarter.
-Miranda continued the Cougar's scoring streak into the second quarter as she stepped behind the arc and drained a three-pointer for the 16-6 lead just 20 seconds in.
-Allison Cerrato (Rockland, Mass.) knocked down back-to-back layups to close the Cougar's lead to four (20-16) with 4:39 to play.
-Seven more points from Miranda gave Clark the 25-19 lead heading into the halftime break.
-Chen snagged the ball away from the Bison and found Ogechi Ezemma (Hope Valley, R.I.) under the basket who went up strong for an and-one play and made her free throw to give the Cougars the 28-19 lead at the start of the third.
-Sophomore Jessica Larsh (Bolton, Conn.) responded with a three-pointer for the Bison to bring them within six points with just under nine minutes on the clock (28-22).
-Larsh added a pair of free throws and Cerrato knocked down a layup to bring them within four and forced the Cougars to call a timeout.
-First year Isabella Nerney (Guilford, Conn.) drained a three-pointer after Larsh found her open at the top of the arc and the Bison trailed by just three points (32-29) with 3:36 on the clock.
-Less than a minute later Miranda put the Cougars back up by six with her own three-pointer at the shot-clock buzzer. Nerney responded with another three-pointer with 1:11 to play in the third (35-32).
-Ezemma earned two on a successful drive to the basket and gave Clark the 39-32 edge heading into the final stanza.
-Nerney stayed hot from behind the arc with back-to-back three-pointers to start off the fourth for the Bison who trailed by three (41-38).
-Nichols called a timeout with 6:20 on the clock to draft up a play that put Cerrato in position to hit a jumper and the visitors trailed by just one point, 41-40.
-Chen added four points from a layup and a pair of free-throws to extend the Cougars lead to five with 1:52 to play and forced Nichols to call another timeout.
-Out of the break Cerrato powered up to the basket for an and-one play and sank her free-throw to bring the Bison within two (45-43).
-Six more made free-throws gave Clark the ultimate 51-43 victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
-Miranda led Clark with 17 points to go along with five rebounds and two steals.
-Ezemma added 13 points, nine rebounds and a season high seven blocks for Clark.
-Cerrato led the Bison with 13 points and nine rebounds while Nerney came off the bench with 12 points for the visitors.
-Despite the loss the Bison shot 100% from the free-throw line and outrebounded Clark 37 to 36.
-The Cougars forced Nichols to turn the ball over 21 times and converted those into 18 points.
-Clark hosts UMass Boston on Tuesday, December 12th for a 5:00 p.m. tip-off.
-Nichols is on the road at Fitchburg State on the same day at 7:00 p.m.