WORCESTER, Mass. – Clark University women's basketball picked up the first win of the 2019-20 season on Sunday night as the Cougars held off Becker College in the final seconds of regulation to take a 66-65 decision in the consolation round of the Worcester City Tournament at John P. Brissette Court.
Score: Cougars 66, Hawks 65
Records: Clark University (1-1) | Becker College (0-2)
How it Happened
Sophomore guard Emily Sifferlen (North Andover, Mass.) dropped a team-high 21 points while corralling seven rebounds and swiping four steals for the Cougars. Sophomore Hallie Johnson (Princeton, Mass.) picked up her first career double-double on the night, scoring a career-high 16 points to go with 12 rebounds. Junior Hannah Favaloro (Blackstone, Mass.) collected 11 rebounds and aided the offense with eight points while first-year Sarah Zambrano (South San Francisco, Calif.) chipped in nine points to lead all bench scorers on the night.
The first victory of the season was a hard-fought one for the Cougars as the team erased a 19-5 deficit after the opening quarter en route to the non-conference win. Clark University found its rhythm offensively during the second frame as Johnson scored six points to help the team shrink the deficit, 28-20, headed into the halftime break.
Clark University surged back in the third quarter as a free throw from Virginia Benbow (Durham, Conn.) with 9:14 to go in the frame sparked a 13-0 unanswered scoring run for the Cougars. With 5:43 left in the quarter, Johnson capped off the drive, giving the Cougars their first lead of the game by knocking down a three-pointer for a 33-30 advantage.
Clark University maintained a slight 43-42 lead headed into the final session, which was tightly-contested with four ties in total down the stretch. Sifferlen carried the load for the Cougars in the final ten minutes, tallying ten of her team-high 21 points to pave the way to victory. With 3:33 to go, the Cougars grabbed their largest lead of the game as a triple from Sifferlen and a lay-up from Favaloro gave the team a 62-55 margin.
Becker battled back to minimize the gap to just one point after a three-pointer from Cassidy Harrison with 27 seconds left on the clock. Following a traveling call on the Cougars, the Hawks had the final play of the game, but tight help-defense in the paint from Julia Beebe (Andover, Conn.) prevented a shot attempt from going up, allowing Clark to hang on to the 66-65 decision.
Clark University controlled the glass throughout the game, owning a 52-35 advantage in rebounds with a 19-14 lead on the offensive end. The Cougars also held a 19-8 edge in second-chance points with the effort on the boards being the difference maker in the final moments of the contest.
Clark University returns to the hardwood on Wednesday, November 13 when it hosts non-conference foe Fitchburg State for the home-opener at the Kneller Athletic Center with tip-off scheduled for 7:00 pm.