-Score: Framingham State University 70, Clark University 66
-Records: Clark (4-8), Framingham State (8-4)
-Location: Worcester, Mass. (Kneller Athletic Center)
-The Lead: In a game that saw five ties and a total of 13 lead changes, the Rams of Framingham State University came out victorious over the Clark University women's basketball team in the Clark Basketball Holiday Classic on Sunday morning. For their outstanding performances this weekend, seniors Sam O'Gara (Worcester, Mass.) and Ogechi Ezemma (Hope Valley, R.I.) were named to the All-Classic team for Clark. Senior Tiphani Harris (Revere, Mass.) and junior Mary Kate O'Day (Berlin, Mass.) were named to the All-Classic team for the Rams.
HOW IT HAPPENED
-Clark came out strong in the first quarter when O'Gara and Cori Ouellette (Madison, Conn.) hit back-to-back three-pointers to give them an 8-4 advantage in the first two minutes of play. O'Day put up nine points to help the Rams take a six point lead after the first 10 minutes (21-15).
-Framingham State pulled ahead by 10 points with 4:24 remaining in the second half when junior Emily Velozo (Tewksbury, Mass.) stepped behind the arc for three (33-23). Ezemma put up five points in just over a minute to help pull Clark back within five at the 2:11 mark (35-30). O'Day completed an and-one play and Harris hit a jumper to give the Rams a nine-point lead heading into the halftime break (40-31).
-Clark kicked off the third stanza with a three-pointer from senior Maya Kerstetter (Northampton, Mass.) but the Rams pulled ahead by 11 when junior Julia Sanborn (Dracut, Mass.) made a jumper from the wing and Harris sank three free-throws (45-34). The Cougars found their spark again with 7:15 on the clock when a free throw and a drive to the basket from Ezemma and back-to-back three-pointers from first year Emily Sifferlen (North Andover, Mass.) brought them back within three with 3:40 on the clock (47-44). The Rams were able to regain a seven-point lead before five more points from Sifferlen and a jumper from O'Gara tied the game at 51-51 with just over a minute to play in the third. One more free-throw for the visitors gave them the 52-51 edge heading into the final 10 minutes.
-Sifferlen sank her fourth three-pointer of the day to kick off the fourth quarter, giving Clark a 54-52 lead. The battle continued through the final 10 minutes with the game seeing five more lead changes and two ties as the Rams came away with the 70-66 final victory. Harris lifted the Rams to victory with eight more points in the final stanza.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
-Harris led all players with 27 points to go along with six rebounds. O'Day added 22 points, four rebounds, four assists, and four steals. Velozo rounded out double-digit scoring with 13 points for the Rams.
-Sifferlen led Clark in scoring with 19 points. Ezemma posted a double-double with 15 points and a game high 12 rebounds. Favaloro also posted a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. O'Gara rounded out double-digit scoring for the Cougars with 11 points to go along with four steals and a game-high seven assists.
-The Rams shot 40.7% from the field while Clark was just behind them shooting 37.7%.
-Framingham State shot 68.8% from the free-throw line (22-for-32) while Clark shot 40% (6-for-15).
-The Cougars outrebounded the Rams 45-39.
-Clark is back in action on Saturday, January 5th when they host Babson College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference action at 1:00 p.m. Framingham State hosts Fitchburg State on the same day at 5:00 p.m.