Worcester, Mass. – Powered by a balanced scoring attack and a stifling defense that held visiting Wellesley College to 24 percent shooting, host Clark University ran its winning streak to six straight with a 57-40 win in New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball action on Friday evening.
The winning streak for the Cougars is the longest in nearly three seasons and their 4-0 mark in league play is the best NEWMAC start in program history. Wellesley, meanwhile, now stands at 3-4 overall and 2-2 in conference action following a week in which they lost to the only two undefeated teams (Babson and Clark) in league play.
The game was close through the first 11 minutes and when Malia Maier dropped in a three-pointer, the score was 14-13 with 8:13 left in the half.
That basket, however, would be the Blue's last for the next 14:32 of game time as they missed their 12 shots to end the half. Clark, meanwhile went on a half-ending 21-0 run to take a 35-13 lead into intermission.
Things stayed pretty much the same in the opening minutes of the second half as the Cougars' run continued, scoring seven of the half's first nine points to push their lead to its peak at 42-15.
Morgyne Weaver finally put home a basket for Wellesley at 14:41 to make the score 42-17 and that play ignited a run in the Blue that saw them trim 13 points off the Clark lead over the next seven minutes capped by a Meghan Sargent finish off an excellent feed from Elisha Orama.
The Cougars answered back with an Ashleigh Condon inside basket and an Emily Reilly three-pointer, making the score 49-30.
Wellesley clawed their way back getting as close as 12 at 51-39 with 4:02 left on a Meghan Sargent three-pointer, but Clark had an answer as both Megan Grondin and Kelsey Giedymin each converted easy layups in the waning moment to seal the win.
In the end, Clark shot a season-high 49 percent from the field, including a sizzling 58 percent in the opening 20 minutes.
Both teams had 17 turnovers and they finished with 36 rebounds apiece.
Giedymin led all scorers with a career-high 16 points on 7-for-11 shooting to go along with six rebounds and three steals, while Condon, Grondin and Reilly all finished with ten points. Kate Minister chipped in with nine points and five rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench.
Wellesley was led by Maier and Weaver, who each just missed a double-doubles with nine points and nine rebounds apiece.
Clark will wrap up the first half of their season tomorrow with a 1:00 p.m. start against Johnson & Wales, while the Blue won't play again until December 29 against Wisconsin Stevens-Point in San Diego.