SOUTH HADLEY, MASS. – Despite a competitive first half, Clark University upended the Mount Holyoke College basketball team, 71-30 in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC basketball action on Thursday. With the win, the Cougars improve to 8-7 overall and 2-4 in conference action, while Mount Holyoke falls to 0-13 overall and 0-7 in the NEWMAC.
Leading the charge for the Cougars was junior forward Rachael Chen (Needham, Mass./Needham), recorded a game high 22 points on 9-11 shooting to go along with seven rebounds and a pair of blocks. Clark saw both junior guard Kacey Legare (Chicopee, Mass./Comprehensive) and first year guard Jamad Fiin (Boston, Mass./Boston Latin) score double-figures off the bench with 14 and 10, respectively. Legare added six rebounds, while Fiin had a pair of steals.
For Mount Holyoke, first year guard Raquel Fitzpatrick (Providence, R.I./Providence Country Day School) led the way with nine points, including seven of the Lyons 11 in the first quarter. She also added seven rebounds, four being offensive. Both senior forward Kate Rawson (Old Town, Main/Old Town) and junior guard Leah Hodges (New Haven, Conn./Kolbe Cathedral) each registered six points, with Rawson matching a team-high seven rebounds. Hodges led the game with three steals.
The game kicked off with a layup from Chen to take a quick advantage, but Hodges knocked down a mid-range jumper to knot it up at 2 each. Clark scored the next eight of 10 points, before Rawson stopped the run with a layup with 3:05 to cut the deficit to 10-6. Fitzpatrick continued the Lyons momentum as she connected with five consecutive points to close the gap to just two points (13-11). Chen scored four points in the final minute to give Clark a 17-11 lead to end the quarter.
After both teams scored buckets early in the second, it became a defensive battle as both teams went scoreless for nearly two minutes. A trey from first Clark's first year guard Idalis Miranda (Naugatuck, Conn./Holy Cross) woke up the Cougars offense at the 5:45 mark, which sparked a 7-0 run. First year guard Hannah Favaloro (Blackstone, Mass./Douglas) got in on the action off the bench to score five straight points during the run to help Clark to a 26-12 lead.
The tide swung in the Lyons direction as MHC quickly scored three straight buckets to bring the game within single digits at, 26-17 with 1:55 to go. The Cougars picked up their defense with a 3-0 run to end the half with a 29-17 lead.
Clark capitalized on its momentum with 10-straight points coming out the half to extend the lead to, 39-19. Rawson once again stopped the run with a jumper that sparked a 6-0 run for the Lyons', including four from first year forward GraceAnne Woods (Glen Cove, N.Y./Glen Cove) to cut the lead to 39-23.
The Cougars took control from then on going on a big run to a 53-24 lead with 6:20 to go in the fourth. Hodges scored four points in the stanza for MHC, but Clark maintained its lead to end the game with a 71-30 victory.
Both teams hit the road on Saturday as Mount Holyoke travels to Wheaton and Clark visits Babson College. Both games are set to tip off at 1:00pm.