SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Powered by a double-double effort of 31 points and 13 rebounds from senior forward Amber Legare, the Mount Holyoke College basketball team posted a 71-61 victory over Clark University in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Wednesday evening. With the win, the Lyons move to 3-8 overall and are 1-2 after sealing their first conference win of the year. The Cougars slip to 3-9 and 1-3 in the NEWMAC.
In addition to her points (career-high) and boards, Legare (Chicopee, Mass./Chicopee Comprehensive) also chipped in with an assist and two blocks over 38 minutes of action. Legare, who was just six points shy of tying the school record mark for points in a game, had 15 points in the first half to go along with 16 in the second frame.
Senior guard Kate Karraker (Morgantown, W.V./Taft School) added 15 points, including a 5-of-11 effort from three point range, a game-best six assists and a steal, while junior guard Genelle Green (Windsor, Conn./Miss Porter's School) added 12 points, seven boards and a game-best three steals. Additionally, senior forward Nicole DeMarchena (Miami, Fla./Amherst Regional) posted a game-high four blocks. She continues to lead the conference with a season total of 32 blocks.
For Clark, sophomore guard Aretha Sullivan (Worcester, Mass./University Park) paced the way with 15 points and four rebounds. She also added three assists, a block and two steals. Junior guard Brooke Brennan (Weston, Mass./The Rivers School) had 14 points with four boards, while junior forward Sami Dokus (Littleton, Mass./Francis Parker Charter) added 11 points, eight caroms and a steal.
The Lyons held a commanding 40-16 lead after the opening period, holding the visiting Cougars to just 16.2% (6-of-37) shooting from the field, but Clark began to bounce back in the first five minutes of the second stanza as a three-pointer from Dokus made it a 49-29 MHC advantage with 15:32 on the clock.
A key trey from Karraker made it a 54-38 game at the 12:23 mark, but Clark continued to chip away at the lead, narrowing the gap to 13 points (56-43) on a layup from Sullivan with just under 10 minutes to play. Another shot from beyond the arc by Karraker immediately followed and MHC took advantage of a missed Cougars shot to turn right back down the court for a bucket from Legare and an 18-point (61-43) lead with 8:55 to go.
The visitors continued to respond late as a 7-0 run, aided by a layup and a three from Dokus, made it a 61-50 contest with 5:54 remaining. Trailing by 13, Sullivan nailed a three and a layup from first year forward Haley Wilder (Fitzwilliam, N.H./Vermont Academy) closed the deficit for Clark to eight (63-55) with just 2:58 remaining.
Clark took advantage of several critical MHC fouls as Sullivan poured in four points at the line to turn the score to a six-point deficit (65-59), but the Lyons saw sophomore guard Xajaah Williams-Flores (Plymouth, N.H./Holderness School) pour in four of her own down the stretch, while Legare sealed the win in the closing seconds with her own shots from the line.
Both teams are back in action on Saturday as Mount Holyoke welcomes the University of Saint Joseph in a 1pm non-conference tilt at Mildred S. Howard Gymnasium. Clark hosts Babson in a NEWMAC clash, also at 1pm.