Women's Basketball Hangs On to Defeat Clark, 72-63

Women's Basketball Hangs On to Defeat Clark, 72-63

Worcester, Mass. - January 4, 2017 - A career-best 20-point performance from junior forward Heather King (Lebanon, N.H.) helped the Springfield College women's basketball team to a critical New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) victory over Clark University on Wednesday morning.

With the win, Springfield College is now 7-4 overall and 3-0 in the conference, while the Cougars are now 8-3 on the year, and 2-2 in league play. The Pride, which assisted 23 of its 26 field goals over 40 minutes of play, shot 26-of-68 (38.2%) from the field, while Clark was just 21-of-68 (30.9%) in the setback. Springfield College dominated the glass, owning a 55-35 rebound advantage, while the Pride's bench had 28 points to the Cougars' 10.

Along with King's career-day, senior point guard Danielle Racette (North Adams, Mass.) notched a career-high eight assists, as well as a career-best nine rebounds, while senior center Ava Adamopoulos (Ludlow, Mass.) posted 18 points to go along with seven rebounds. Additionally, senior guard Molly McCausland (Millbury, Mass.) dished out a career-best nine assists.

Clark was led by junior guard Sam O'Gara (Worcester, Mass.), who posted 20 points, seven assists and three steals, while senior guard Aretha Sullivan (Worcester, Mass.) notched 15 points and five rebounds in the setback.

Springfield College jumped out to an early 10-3 lead following a lay-up from King just 2:46 into the contest, before a free throw from Gracie Restituyo (Barrington, R.I.)  gave the Pride a 10-point lead, making the score 16-6 in favor of the visitors midway through one. O'Gara would pull the Cougars back to within four following a lay-up with 2:15 left in the stanza, a deficit that would remain for the rest of the quarter. 

A lay-up from Adamopoulos, followed by a three-pointer from Lexi Windwer (Milton, Mass.) pushed the Pride's lead back to nine to start the second quarter, but the Cougars would respond with back-to-back baskets from Maya Kerstetter (Northampton, Mass.) and Ogechi Ezemma (Hope Valley, R.I.) to make it 27-20, Pride, with 7:16 to play in the half. From there, the Pride pushed its lead up to 14 following a made jumper from King midway through the stanza, as Springfield College would go into the locker room up 40-27. 

A 10-0 run for the Cougars to open up the second half made it a five-point game following a lay-up from O'Gara just 4:11 into the frame, but five-consecutive points from Chelsea McAllister (Baltimore, Vt.), including a three-pointer at the 4:30 mark gave the Pride back its 10-point advantage. Following a jumper from Alex Goslin (South Windsor, Conn.) with 3:35 left in the quarter, the Cougars would end the stanza on an 11-2 run to make it a two-point game heading into the fourth.

Clark would take a four-point lead just 1:26 into the fourth quarter after a jumper from Haley Wilder (Rindge, N.H.), but the Pride would counter with a made jumper from King and a three-pointer from Windwer to take back its lead. After trading leads back-and-forth, the Pride went to Adamopoulos to finish off the Cougars, as the senior recorded three major baskets down the stretch to preserve the nine-point win.

Up next, Springfield College will resume NEWMAC play when it travels to Cambridge, Mass. on Saturday for a 1 p.m. matchup with MIT.