MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Clark University men's basketball earned their first win of the 2019-20 campaign as junior Tyler Davern (Webster, Mass.) scored a career-high 36 points on five three-pointers to power the Cougars to an 80-70 win over the University of Maine Presque Isle in opening round action of the Herb Kenny Tip-Off Tournament at the Silloway Gymnasium. With the result, first-year head coach Tyler Simms nabs the first win of his career at the helm of the program.
Score: Cougars 80, Owls 70
Records: Clark University (1-2) | Maine Presque Isle (0-1)
How it Happened
Davern's new career-standard in points eclipsed his previous high of 31 points achieved in a November 18, 2017 setback against Haverford. Additionally, the forward set a new single-game career-high for three-pointers with a 5-for-10 performance from deep while also pulling down a career-high 13 rebounds.
Junior Biko Gayman (Fort Pierce, Fla.) provided additional support to the offense of the Cougars, scoring 20 points to reach that threshold for the third consecutive time to start the season while also dishing out a game-high six assists. Sophomore Zackary Mittelstadt (Wilton, Maine) and graduate Brendan Kittredge (Clinton, Mass.) chipped in seven points apiece in the non-conference victory.
Clark University scored 40 points in both halves to reach the 80-point mark for the first time this season. The offense also turned in a season-high 15 assists during the game with sophomore Sean Christy (Cumberland, R.I.) and junior Anthony Grzembski (Webster, Mass.) picking up two assists apiece.
The teams came out slowly as a basket up close from Gayman with 15:30 remaining in the stanza knotted the score at just 5-5. But a corner three-pointer as the shot clock expired from Kittredge sparked new energy into the game while swinging a 14-12 lead to the Cougars in the process.
After exchanging buckets, the Cougars took control as a pair of layups from Davern bookended a three-pointer by Christy to open up a 25-18 lead. Clark pulled away as Davern provided nine points on a trio of three-pointers to power a 15-7 scoring drive lasting the remainder of the quarter, giving the team a 40-27 lead into the break.
The Cougars maintained their momentum during the early second half as sophomore Joel Arteaga (Wyncote, Pa.) got things started with a three-pointer, triggering an 11-2 run which saw Mittelstadt can a pair from deep as well. Clark widened the gap to 54-31 on a lay-up from Davern with 14:21 remaining, but things got interesting shortly after as Shyquinn Dix scored 15 straight points for the Owls to shrink the deficit to 58-46.
The Owls continued to apply pressure as a 6-2 run with 7:57 remaining made it a 64-54 deficit before Davern provided some separation with eight straight for the Cougars. Clark was able to keep the Owls at bay until a jumper from Dix with 1:47 left made it a 76-68 game. The Cougars defense held firm in the remaining moments, advancing the team to the championship round of the Herb Kenny Tip-Off Tournament with the 80-70 final score.
The Cougars are set to enter the championship round in the Herb Kenny Tip-Off Tournament and are set to take on host Wesleyan Saturday, November 16 at 3:00 pm.