Score: Wheaton College 79, Clark University 73
Records: Clark (3-9, NEWMAC 0-1), Wheaton (9-2, NEWMAC 1-0)
Location: Worcester, Mass. (Kneller Athletic Center)
The Lead: The Clark University men's basketball team dropped a close game with New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) foe, Wheaton College on Wednesday afternoon. The Lyons were paced by senior Ryan Fogarty (Walpole, Mass.) who posted 22 points and 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. Junior Luca McCormick (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) notched a team high 20 points and seven rebounds in the setback for the Cougars.
HOW IT HAPPENED
-The Lyons jumped out to an early 7-2 lead on a three from Fogarty and back to back layups from Liam Bruno (Newton, Mass.).
-The Cougars closed Wheaton's lead to two points as senior John Pisacreta (Andover, Mass.) stepped behind the arc and drained a three-pointer (7-5).
-With 15:20 on the clock the Cougars tied the game at 10-10 on a three from freshman Biko Gayman (Fort Pierce, Fla.). The home team took their first lead of the game just under two minutes later as Tyler Davern (Webster, Mass.) and Kyle Coughlin (Beverly, Mass.) both made successful drives to the basket and Coughlin followed up with a basket from behind the arc for the 17-13 advantage.
-Clark led by as many as seven points in the first half at the 11:44 mark and the 10:36 mark but a late 5-0 run from the Lyons highlighted by a three from Fogarty with just 45 seconds on the clock gave the visitors the 40-33 lead heading into the halftime break.
-Clark got things started in the second half on a jumper from Gayman (40-35), but the Lyons responded with two of their own from Duaka Ekwensi (Morris Plains, N.J.) another three from Fogarty to take a 10 point lead with 18:24 to play.
-The Cougars heated up with just under 15 minutes to play. Freshman Anthony Grzembski (Webster, Mass.) started a 3-0 run for Clark with a three pointer that was assisted by Davern. McCormick added another three when Gayman found him at the top of the arc and Davern finished out the run with a strong drive to the basket to bring the Cougars within one point of the Lyons, 49-48. Less than one minute later Clark regained their lead on a McCormick three (51-50).
-Bruno and Gayman traded layups at the 12:02 mark and the Lyons and Cougars were tied up at 54-54.
-The game saw two more ties at the 10:02 mark and the 9:01 mark but Clark pulled ahead, 71-68 with just under three minutes to play on a 3-0 run that saw two baskets from Davern and a jumper from McCormick.
-The Lyons responded with a 5-0 rally of their own for the six-point lead with just a minute left on the clock, 77-71. Two made free-throws from Duaka sealed the deal and Wheaton took home the 79-73 NEWMAC victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
-Fogarty led the Lyons to victory with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore Riley Tetreault (Walpole, Mass.) added 16 points and eight rebounds for Wheaton.
-MCcormick led the Cougars with 20 points and seven rebounds while Davern chipped in with 16 points and six rebounds in the loss.
-The Lyons shot 51.6% from field goal range while Clark shot 44.3%. The Cougars led at the free-throw line as they went 9-for-12 (75%).
-Wheaton outrebounded Clark 36 to 32.
-The Lyons forced 14 turnovers from Clark and converted those errors into 15 points of their own. Clark forced 10 Wheaton turnovers and earned 14 points off of them.
-The game saw a total of five ties and 10 lead changes.
-Clark hosts Emerson College in NEWMAC action on Saturday, January 6 at 1:00 p.m. in the Kneller Athletic Center.
-Wheaton is on the road again as they travel to Springfield College on Saturday, January 6 for a 1:00 p.m. tip-off.