Clark Edges Basketball in Overtime, 82-74
SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (Jan. 10, 2009) – Senior forward Sarah Roderigue collected team highs of 21 points, six rebounds and four assists, as the Clark University women’s basketball team slipped past host Mount Holyoke College 82-74 in overtime this afternoon at the Mildred Howard Gymnasium. It was the Cougars first New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) triumph of the season.
Four players reached double digits in the scoring column for Clark, which shot 45.3% (24-53) from the field. The Cougars connected on 83.9% (26-31) of their free throw attempts and drained eight three pointers. Senior guard Sara Hagstrom, first year forward Ivori Aiken and first year guard Maggie Croft finished with 13, 11 and ten points, respectively.
Mount Holyoke suffered its fifth loss in a row despite a 41-36 advantage on the glass. The Lyons converted 37.8% (28-74) of their shots from the floor and 78.6% (11-14) of their attempts from the stripe. They piled up 23 assists on 28 made baskets and forced Clark into 20 turnovers. Junior Erin Cain, senior guard Katie Austen and first year forward Emma Washauer combined for 59 of Mount Holyoke’s 74 points.
Cain exploded for a career best 23 points to go with six rebounds and four assists. She went 8-of-16 from the floor and was a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line. The guard knocked down three of her team’s seven three pointers. Austen piled up 19 points, 11 rebounds and six assists for her first collegiate double-double. Meanwhile, Washauer poured in a season high 17 points, and classmate Christine Chancy dished out a season best seven assists.
Neither team led by more than five points in a first half that saw six ties and three lead changes. Mount Holyoke enjoyed a 12-7 edge after a jumper by Austen midway through the opening frame, but Clark scored the next five points to even things at 12-12 at the 8:43 mark. The game was still knotted at 26-26 with just under three minutes remaining the first half, but the Cougars tallied the final four points of the frame to open up a 30-26 halftime advantage. Austen led all scorers with ten points at the break.
Clark controlled play for the majority of the second stanza, stretching its cushion to seven points four times. Despite their efforts, the Cougars were unable to put away a pesky Mount Holyoke squad. Trailing 61-54 with just under three minutes remaining in regulation, the Lyons scored six straight points. A trifecta by Chancy at the 1:03 mark sliced the deficit to 61-60.
Roderigue converted a pair of free throws to put Clark in front 65-62 with 24 seconds left in the second period. On Mount Holyoke’s ensuing possession, Cain missed a jumper, but first year forward Tricia Chase came down with the offensive rebound. The ball was knocked out of play with three seconds to go, giving the Lyons one more chance. On the inbound play, Cain collected a pass from Austen and swished a three pointer from the top of the arc to send the contest to overtime. Cain recorded 14 points in the second half, and Washauer added 12. Roderigue had 13 for the guests.
The Lyons trailed 70-69 midway through the overtime period, but Clark put things away with a 12-5 run over the final 2:38. The Cougars final margin of eight points was their largest of the afternoon. They went 9-of-10 from the free throw line in the extra session.
Mount Holyoke (2-11, 0-2 NEWMAC) will return to action on Thursday, when it hosts Emerson College at 7:00 p.m. Clark (5-7, 1-1 NEWMAC) is slated to kick off a five game homestand versus Bowdoin College on Monday at 7:00 p.m. Both squads will resume NEWMAC play later in the week.