January 6, 2010

Ice Cold Shooting Dooms Cougars In NEWMAC Opener

Worcester, Mass. - Clark, who entered the game as the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference leader in both three-point percentage and three-pointers made per game, missed its first 12 triple tries en route to a 2-for-22 performance from behind the arc and visiting Coast Guard took advantage, collecting a 61-46 win in the conference opener for both teams at the Kneller Athletic Center on Wednesday evening.

The win for USCGA snaps a five-game losing streak, while the defeat for the Clark is their second straight.

For the game the Cougars shot a frigid 28 percent (16-for-63), while the Bears connected on 46 percent of their attempts and forced 19 Clark turnovers.

Coast Guard also got a huge boost from its bench, outscoring the Clark reserves 27-6 with most of that damage coming via 6-foot-4 freshman Greg Marshall who scored 14 points on 6-for-11 shooting.

Junior Adam Radtke kickstarted the Coast Guard offense early on as he dropped in three three-pointers in the opening stanza, including a pair in the first ten minutes of the contest.

A low-scoring first half saw the Bears take a 27-18 halftime edge, but Clark rallied to cut the lead down to five at 34-29 following a three-pointer from Brian Vayda (Sturbridge, Mass.) with 12:27 remaining.

Coast Guard responded with an 8-0 burst punctuated by a Stefan Lewis steal and breakaway finish, upping the Bear advantage to 42-29.

The Cougars never got closer than ten again as the lead eventually ballooned to as many as 18 as Coast Guard made enough free throws (9-for-14) to keep Clark at bay.

The Scarlet and White did hold a sizeable edge on the glass, outrebounding the Bears 44-33, corralling a season-best 20 offensive boards helping them hold a 15-0 edge in second chance points.

In addition to Marshall's 14 points, Jevon James added 14 points as well to go along with seven boards and three blocks.

Vayda led the Cougar offense with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Mark Alexander (Providence, R.I.) chipped in 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Clark (8-5, 0-1 NEWMAC) returns to action on Saturday with a road trip at Wheaton, while the Bears (4-6, 1-0 NEWMAC) hit the hardwood again on Saturday with a home contest against Springfield.