Springfield Advances to NEWMAC Semifinals with Victory Over Clark

Springfield Advances to NEWMAC Semifinals with Victory Over Clark

THE BASICS

-Score: Springfield College 66, Clark University 44

-Record: Clark (11-15, NEWMAC 7-10), Springfield (17-9, NEWMAC 13-4)

-Location: Springfield, Mass. (Blake Arena)

-The Lead: In a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament quarterfinal match-up the No. 3 Springfield College Pride defeated the No. 6 Clark University Cougars on Tuesday evening. The Pride will advance to the semifinals on Thursday, February 21st when they will take on No. 2 Smith College.

HOW IT HAPPENED

-The Pride took a seven point lead after the first 10 minutes, led by junior Taylor Hall (Tolland, Conn.) who put up six points. The hosts led by as many as nine points when a layup from junior Alex Goslin (South Windsor, Conn.) put them ahead 11-2 with 2:30 on the clock, but a three from Clark first year Virginia Benbow (Durham, Conn.) closed the gap before the buzzer.

-Senior Chelsea McAllister (Baltimore, Vt.) hit back-to-back three-pointers in a rally that extended Springfield's lead to 14 early in the second quarter (22-8). The Pride held Clark to five points in each quarter, outscoring them 32-10 at the halftime break. Senior Ogechi Ezemma (Hope Valley, R.I.) led the Cougars with five points and six rebounds before the half while Hall finished the half with a team-leading nine points for Springfield.

-Clark came out of the break strong with six straight points highlighted by an opening three-pointer from senior Maya Kerstetter (Northampton, Mass.) to pull within 16 at the 6:56 mark (32-16). They also forced three turnovers with strong defense in the rally. A drive to the hoop from sophomore Hannah Favaloro (Blackstone, Mass.) sparked another run that saw a jumper from Ezemma and a three from the left corner from Benbow to pull the Cougars within 11 with 3:45 on the clock (37-26).

-Clark finished the third quarter edging the Pride in scoring 20-17, but the hosts held a 19-point lead heading into the final stanza, 49-30.

-The Cougars were able to pull back within 13 at the start of the fourth quarter when Kerstetter put up a three-pointer with under two minutes into play. The Pride pulled ahead by as many as 24 with back-to-back layups from junior Emily Jaques (Auburn, Maine) with 3:46 on the clock (62-38). The hosts finished the quarter outscoring Clark 17-14 and took the final 66-44 victory.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

-Ezemma finished with a team-leading 15 points and eight rebounds and three steals for Clark. Kerstetter added 13 points and was 3-for-6 from behind the arc.

-Goslin led the Pride to victory with a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds. Jaques also finished with a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds on the night. Hall also put up 11 points and McAllister rounded out double-digit scoring for Springfield with 10 points.

-Springfield finished shooting 39.4% from the floor while Clark shot 25.9%.

-The Pride outrebounded the Cougars 54 to 32.

-Both teams turned the ball over 17 times. Clark converted those turnovers into 11 points while Springfield scored 18 points off of those turnovers.

UP NEXT

-Springfield will advance to the semifinals and play at No. 2 Smith on Thursday, February 21st at 7:00 p.m.