-Score: Clark University 65, Nichols College 54
-Records: Clark (1-3), Nichols (1-2)
-Location: Dudley, Mass. (Nichols Athletic Center)
-The Lead: The Clark University women's basketball team secured their first victory of the 2018-2019 season at Nichols College on Saturday afternoon. Senior Sam O'Gara (Worcester, Mass.) led all players with 24 points in the victory for the Cougars.
HOW IT HAPPENED
-After the Bison took an early lead in the first quarter, Clark freshmen Emily Sifferlen (North Andocer, Mass.) and Elyssa Jackson (Warren, N.J.) combined for five points to give the visitors an 11-9 lead with 3:37 on the clock. Jessica Larsh (Bolton, Conn.) responded with a basket behind the arc for Nichols to pull ahead 12-11, but the Cougars finished the quarter on a 3-1 run including two drives to the basket from Sifferlen to take a 17-14 advantage heading into the second stanza.
-Senior Maya Kerstetter (Nothampton, Mass.) put in back-to-back baskets for the Cougars to start the second and her O'Gara added four points to lift Clark to a 27-20 lead at halftime.
-O'Gara stayed up with an early basket in the third to extend Clark's lead to nine, 29-20. With 4:50 on the clock Nichol's Mekaela Fithian-Giantonia (Plainville, Conn.) hit a jumper to bring the Bison within four, 35-31, but the Cougars closed out the stanza with a ten-point lead when O'Gara made another successful drive to the basket.
-The Cougars entered the fourth leading by 10 points (44-34) before a 9-0 run by the Bison cut their deficit to one. They went ahead by one on two occasions, once following a basket from senior Rebecca Clearly (Milford, N.H.) with 4:53 on the clock and later following a jumper from Larsh with 3:34 to go. O'Gara answered with a pair of triples and a layup to put the Cougars up seven with 2:12 left. The Cougars held on for the 12-point victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBER
-O'Gara led all student-athletes with 24 points for the Cougars while sophomore Hannah Favaloro (Blackstone, Mass.) notched a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds (10 offensive). The visitors struggled from the charity stripe and finished the contest at 52 percent (15-of-29), however O'Gara sank seven-of-eight in the final minutes to seal the win.
-Larsh scored 16 points for the Nichols. Fithian-Giantonio chipped in with 14 points and nine boards for the Bison, who shot 32 percent from the floor (19-of-59) and made 11-of-16 from the line (69 percent). Sophomore Melody Millett (Naples, Maine) filled the stat sheet with seven points, four rebounds, and four assists in 18 minutes.
-Clark outrebounded the Bison 61-43, led by Favaloro and senior Kacey Legare (Chicopee, Mass.) with 11.
-Clark hosts Anna Maria on Tuesday, November 20th at 4:00 p.m. The Bison travel to WPI for a non-conference contest on the same day at 7:30 p.m.