Hawks Take Defensive Battle, 47-44

Hawks Take Defensive Battle, 47-44

Worcester, Mass. – Becker College senior Terrance Favors (Boston, Mass.) hit a pair of spinning layups in the final three minutes helping the visiting Hawks keep host Clark University at bay long enough to escape with a hard-fought 47-44 win in non-league men's basketball action on Thursday evening at the Kneller Athletic Center.

The win for Becker (4-3) gives them four wins in their last five games, while the Cougars see their four-game winning streak come to an end and now sit at 5-3.

The Hawks went into intermission with a 24-14 lead as their defense held Clark to a frigid 27 percent shooting in the first half (6-for-22) and forced ten turnovers.

Becker saw its lead balloon to as many as 16 at 32-16 early in the second half with Jerome Cohen (Boston, Mass.) scoring six points in first five minutes.

After the teams traded baskets on their next possessions, the Cougars ran off 11 straight points, sparked by Mitch Renshaw (Rutland, Mass.).  He started the run with an assist on a Travis Curley (Trumbull, Conn.) three-pointer and after a steal and finish from Drew Billington (Fairfield, Conn.), Renshaw canned an outside shot to make the score 34-25 with a little more than ten minutes left.

The run continued with a Tucker Esborn (Branford, Conn.) layup and a pair of Renshaw free throws, making the score 34-29.

Cohen made one of two free throws, but a two-handed dunk by D.J. Bailey (Palmer, Mass.) off a nice feed from Renshaw had the Cougars as close as they had been since midway through the first half at 35-31.

Renshaw then pulled Clark closer on a conventional three-point play, but Favors answered with one of his own, upping the Hawks' advantage to 40-34.

As they both did all night, each team struggled to score and neither put a point on the scoreboard over the next four and a half minutes, until a Chris Canady (Newark, N.J.) free throw was followed by a Bailey inside hoop.

Becker, however, had an answer as Favors scored the first of his whirling layups to make the score 43-36 with 2:30 left.

Clark still had some fight as Curley knocked down another three-pointer, but there was Favors again with an inside finish making the score 45-39 with 52 seconds left.

Bailey worked his way inside for a basket with 36 seconds left on the clock and a missed one-and-one opportunity left the door open for the Cougars, but they came up empty on their next possession.

 Favors answered with a pair of game-sealing free throws and Curley's fourth three-pointer of the night at the buzzer made up the final score.

Clark shot 36 percent from the field for the game (18-for-50) and the Hawks were pretty close to that as well (19-for-52).

The Hawks held a 28-16 edge on points in the paint, led by Cohen's game-high 17 points. Favors ended with 15 points and nine boards, while Rajai Leggett (New Haven, Conn.) recorded ten points and eight rebounds.

Clark was paced by Curley's 15 points and four assists, while Renshaw came off the bench to finish with 11 points, five rebounds and three assists in just 14 minutes. Bailey, meanwhile, added ten points and seven rebounds.

Both teams return to action on Saturday, with the Hawks hosting Newbury and the Cougars traveling to Endicott.