Hot-Shooting Clark Downs Wellesley Basketball, 68-45

Emily Kopp finished with 10 points in the Wellesley setback (Frank Poulin).
Emily Kopp finished with 10 points in the Wellesley setback (Frank Poulin).

WELLESLEY, Mass. – Visiting Clark University shot 51.2% from the floor and knocked down 8-of-12 three pointers en route to a 68-45 New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) victory over Wellesley College basketball on Tuesday night at Dorothy Towne Fieldhouse. 

The win snaps an 0-4 start to the conference season for the Cougars, helping Clark to improve to 1-4 in the NEWMAC and 5-9 overall. Wellesley is now 6-6 on the season and 3-3 in conference contests. 

First year Emily Sifferlen (North Andover, Mass.) dropped in a game-high 17 points for Clark, hitting 4-of-5 attempts from beyond the arc in 22 minutes off the bench. Sifferlen was one of three players in double figures for the Cougars, as seniors Maya Kerstetter (Northampton, Mass.) and Ogechi Ezemma (Hope Valley, R.I.) added 15 and 11 points, respectively. Senior Sam O'Gara (Worcester, Mass.) dished out a season and game-high 10 assists for the visitors, including seven in the opening half.

Junior Caitlin Aguirre (El Paso, Texas) scored 12 points in 31 minutes to lead the Blue. Classmate Emily Kopp (King Ferry, N.Y.) finished 5-for-12 from the floor to add 10 points. Kopp also pulled down seven boards and added an assist. Junior Kendall You Mak (San Francisco, Calif.) chipped in with seven points on offense, while adding a game-high eight rebounds to go along with four assists and two steals. Senior Zojajha Ayub (Belle Mead, N.J.) finished with six points and a pair of assists. 

The Blue opened up a six-point lead late in the first quarter, as a 7-0 run saw an 11-10 deficit turn into a 17-11 Wellesley lead when Kopp knocked down a jumper at 1:18. Ezemma closed out the quarter with a pair of free throws to send the teams to the second with Wellesley leading 17-13. Five straight Clark points to start the second gave the visitors an 18-17 advantage but Wellesley would retake the lead before halftime as Aguirre broke a 29-29 tie with a jumper at the end of the back-and-forth quarter to make the score 31-29.

Clark opened the third quarter on a 7-2 run, taking a 36-33 lead when O'Gara dropped in a jumper at 8:09. The Cougars would not trail for the remainder of the contest. Clark hit 5-of-8 attempts from the field and 12-of-17 opportunities from the charity stripe in the third, out-scoring the Blue 23-7 to take a 14-point lead into the fourth. The Cougars led by as many as 23 in the second half and would go on to outscore the Blue 16-7 over the final ten minutes to pull away for the 68-45 victory.

Clark knocked down 22-of-43 attempts from the floor (51.2%), limiting the Blue to just 30.9& (17-of-55) shooting. Clark finished with 18 assists on 22 made baskets and had a 20-8 advantage in points in the paint. 

Wellesley will take on Seven Sisters rival Smith College in the team's next outing on Saturday at 2:00 PM. Clark will host WPI on Thursday at 7:00 PM.