WORCESTER – Senior Ogechi Ezemma (Hope Valley, RI) posted a double-double of 19 points and 15 rebounds as Clark overcame a 24-14 first quarter to secure a 56-50 NEWMAC women's basketball triumph over visiting WPI Thursday night in the Kneller Center.
The Cougars head into the weekend with a 6-9 record overall and 2-4 in league play as the Engineers, who are off until Wednesday, are now 7-7 and 2-5.
Ezemma was all over the stat sheet with four blocks, including one during a late push by the guests, three assists and a steal as well. Freshman Emily Sifferlen (North Andover, MA) came off the bench to net 15 points for the hosts and sophomore Hannah Favaloro (Blackstone, MA) notched nine points and nine rebounds. Senior Sam O'Gara (Worcester, MA) also netted nine, and doled out five helpers, for Clark as classmate Cori Ouellette (Madison, CT) recorded a game-best three steals.
Senior Alyssa Paul (Schaghticoke, NY) achieved a new career-high for the second consecutive game, this time with 17 points to lead the Engineers. Freshman Victoria Mirecki (Rock Tavern, NY) was next with nine points and a team-best nine boards. Sophomore Caitlin Boermeester (Billerica, MA) handed out a game and career-best seven assists. Junior Alexa Itsines (Nazareth, PA) chipped in with five points and was one of three Engineers with six rebounds. Sophomore Sara Lyons (Pittsford, NY) added five points and five caroms in the effort.
Paul and Mirecki totaled 14 points in the first quarter that saw the Engineers claim a 24-14 advantage through the first 10 minutes. Favaloro and Ezemma each scored six points in the second as the Cougars doubled up the Crimson and Gray 14-7 for a 31-28 margin at the break.
The third was close with Clark cutting the deficit to a pair heading into the final frame. Sifferlen later swung the scoreboard in favor of the hosts with a layup with just under three minutes to play. Ezemma went on to score five of the game's last six points and block a late shot for the 56-50 final.
The Cougars enjoyed advantages in the paint (32-8), off turnovers (11-8), second chance (9-4) and from the bench (17-12).
WPI hosts Springfield Wednesday at 6pm as part of a doubleheader in Harrington Auditorium. Clark entertains Wheaton Saturday at 1pm.