-Score: Clark University 68, Wellesley College 45
-Records: Clark (5-9, NEWMAC 1-4), Wellesley (6-6, NEWMAC 3-3)
-Location: Wellesley, Mass. (Towne Fieldhouse)
-The Lead: Visiting Clark University shot 51.2% from the floor and knocked down 8-of-12 three pointers en route to a 68-45 New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) victory over Wellesley College basketball on Tuesday night at Dorothy Towne Fieldhouse. The win snaps an 0-4 start to the conference season for the Cougars, helping Clark to improve to 1-4 in the NEWMAC and 5-9 overall.
HOW IT HAPPENED
-The Blue opened up a six-point lead late in the first quarter, as a 7-0 run saw an 11-10 deficit turn into a 17-11 Wellesley lead when junior Emily Kopp (King Ferry, N.Y.) knocked down a jumper at 1:18. Clark senior Ogechi Ezemma (Hope Valley, R.I.) closed out the quarter with a pair of free throws to send the teams to the second with Wellesley leading 17-13. Five straight Clark points to start the second including a three-pointer and layup from first year Emily Sifferlen (North Andover, Mass.) gave the visitors an 18-17 advantage. Wellesley would retake the lead before halftime as junior Caitlin Aguirre (El Paso, Texas) broke a 29-29 tie with a jumper at the end of the back-and-forth quarter to make the score 31-29 heading into the halftime break.
-Clark opened the third quarter on a 7-2 run, taking a 36-33 lead when senior Sam O'Gara (Worcester, Mass.) dropped in a jumper at 8:09. The Cougars would not trail for the remainder of the contest. Clark hit 5-of-8 attempts from the field and 12-of-17 opportunities from the charity stripe in the third, out-scoring the Blue 23-7 to take a 14-point lead into the fourth. The Cougars led by as many as 23 in the second half and would go on to outscore the Blue 16-7 over the final ten minutes to pull away for the 68-45 victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
-Sifferlen dropped in a game-high 17 points for Clark, hitting 4-of-5 attempts from beyond the arc in 22 minutes off the bench. She was one of three players in double figures for the Cougars, as Ezemma and her classmate Maya Kerstetter (Northampton, Mass.) added 15 and 11 points, respectively. O'Gara dished out a season and game-high 10 assists for the visitors, including seven in the opening half.
-Aguirre scored 12 points in 31 minutes to lead the Blue. Kopp finished 5-for-12 from the floor to add 10 points. Kopp also pulled down seven boards and added an assist. Junior Kendall You Mak (San Francisco, Calif.) chipped in with seven points on offense, while adding a game-high eight rebounds to go along with four assists and two steals. Senior Zojajha Ayub (Belle Mead, N.J.) finished with six points and a pair of assists.
- Clark knocked down 22-of-43 attempts from the floor (51.2%), limiting the Blue to just 30.9% (17-of-55) shooting. Clark finished with 18 assists on 22 made baskets and had a 20-8 advantage in points in the paint. The Cougars edged Wellesley in rebounding 32-31.
-Clark hosts WPI in another NEWMAC matchup on Thursday, January 10th at 7:00 p.m.
-Wellesley is back in action on Saturday, January 12th when they travel to Smith for a conference contest at 2:00 p.m.