Springfield, Mass. – Senior Kate Minister (Manchester, England) led a trio of Clark players in double figures with a career-high tying 23 points and the visiting Cougars opened up New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball action with a 63-57 win over Springfield on Wednesday evening.
After dropping their first two games of the season, Clark has now won three straight games to improve to 3-2 and have now won their first conference game of the season for just the second time in the last six seasons. The Pride drop to 2-3 and have now lost three of their last four games.
The Cougars actually held an 11 point lead late in the second half following a Minister three-pointer, but Clark went cold, going more than four minutes without a basket and the Pride took advantage, whittling the lead down to three on a Megan Biondolillo (Levittown, N.Y.) three-pointer with under two minutes to go.
A timeout by Clark led to an inside basket from Minister, making the score 58-53 but the Pride refused to go away, getting the score down to 59-57 after a pair of Jaime Bickelhaupt (Brookfield, Conn.) free throws with 17 seconds left.
Ashleigh Condon (Hull, Mass.), who earlier in the half missed the front end of a pair of 1-and-1 attempts, calmly sank four free throws to give the Cougars the win.
Clark was outstanding defensively, holding the host Pride to 30 percent shooting from the field, including an icy 3-for-18 from behind the arc. The Cougars, meanwhile, connected on 43 percent of their attempts and held a 32-22 edge on points in the paint.
Kelly Slattery (Somers, Conn.) and Colleen Dignum (Albany, N.Y.) each had 13 points to lead Springfield but the duo combined to shoot just 10-for-32. Bickelhaupt, meanwhile, came off the bench to register a double-double with ten points and ten rebounds.
Minister proved to be the difference offensively, hitting 9-for-12 from the field, including a 4-for-6 performance from three-point territory. She added ten rebounds to her totals to notch her third career double-double – two of which have come against Springfield.
Condon finished with 14 points and five assists for Clark, who also got ten points and a career-high tying nine rebounds from Emily Reilly (Marlborough, Mass.).
The Cougars will put their three-game winning streak on the line on Saturday when they host Coast Guard at 1:00 p.m.