WORCESTER, Mass. – Clark University women's basketball fell in a non-conference affair to Nichols as Isabella Nerney and Alexis Finnerty combined for 50 points to propel the Bison to a 70-62 final at the Kneller Athletic Center on Saturday afternoon.
Score: Bison 70, Cougars 62
Records: Clark University (3-6) | Nichols College (3-5)
How it Happened
Junior Hannah Favaloro (Blackstone, Mass.) logged her fifth double-double of the season and 15th in her career, leading the Cougars with 16 points and tying the game-high of 12 rebounds.
Sophomore Hallie Johnson (Princeton, Mass.) joined forces with Favaloro to record a double-double of her own, notching 12 points to go with 12 rebounds and two steals. It marked the second time this season that Johnson and Favaloro logged double-doubles in the same contest.
Sophomore Emily Sifferlen (North Andover, Mass.) aided the offense with 13 points to round out the double-digit scorers for the Cougars, adding four assists and five steals to her final ledger. Sophomore Cam Richey (Upton, Mass.) logged a career-high seven assists in the setback while adding three steals.
For the Bison, Nerney ended as the game-high scorer with 36 points coming on an efficient 10-of-20 from the floor with eight three-pointers. Finnerty tallied 22 points of her own while dishing out three assists.
The Cougars jumped out to an early 6-1 lead to start the game as Sifferlen bookended a brief scoring run with layups on both ends.
With 6:20 left in the first quarter, Nerney caught fire from the field, finding the net for 11 points in under two minutes to give the Bison a 14-6 lead. Nerney went onto connect on two more treys to finish the quarter with 17 points for a 22-19 lead.
After another three-pointer from Nerney got the second quarter started, the Cougars were able to slow down the guard and take over on the scoreboard as a result. With a 25-19 deficit, Sifferlen connected on a free-throw to spark a 7-0 run and give the Cougars a one-point advantage.
Nichols momentarily regained the lead after consecutive layups from Finnerty and Ciarri Formby-Lavertu, but the Cougars responded with nine unanswered points with Favaloro contributing six for a 35-29 lead with 4:30 left in the half.
The Cougars held a 37-36 advantage to start the second, but a triple from Nerney to start the third put the visiting Bison in front. The teams exchanged the lead three times over the next 3:30 on the clock with first-year Eliza Quinones (Bangor, Maine) giving the Cougars a 43-41 margin with 6:38 left in the frame.
With 5:01 left in the third, Nichols jumped in front for the final time of the game as Finnerty capped off a 4-0 personal run with a layup for a 45-43 lead before Nerney extended it on the next run down the court on a trey.
The Bison opened up the lead, 52-43, headed into the fourth quarter and kept the pressure on throughout the final ten minutes. Clark was able to shrink a deficit to four points with 6:13 left in regulation following a lay-in from Ginny Benbow (Durham, Conn.).
Finnerty went onto score six of Nichols' final 14 points during the remaining time on the clock as the Bison worked through the Cougars' full-press defense to hold onto the 70-62 final.
The Bison earned the win thanks to a strong showing from the charity stripe as the team finished 20-of-23 in free throws. Nichols also edged Clark on the boards, 50-48, while trailing the points battle inside the paint by a 24-22 clip.
Nichols finished 21-of-63 from the floor (33.3%) while Clark shot 24-of-75 (32%) during the non-conference setback.
The Cougars travel to Boston for their final contest before winter break as they take on Suffolk University on Tuesday, December 10 at 7:00 pm.