-Score: Worcester State University 87, Clark University 81
-Records: Clark (0-1), Worcester State (1-0)
-Location: Worcester, Mass. (Brissette Court)
-The Lead: The Clark University men's basketball team opened up the 2018-2019 season with a 12:01 a.m. tip-off game on Thursday morning at Worcester State. In a game that saw four ties and three lead changes, the Cougars ultimately fell to the Lancers in the non-conference season opener.
HOW IT HAPPENED
-The Cougars capped off the first five minutes of the game with an 8-6 lead when Antonio Lapeyrolerie (Plano, Texas) knocked home his first collegiate bucket from behind the arc. The Lancers were able to pull together three unanswered baskets including a three-pointer from Tyler Dion (Barre, Mass.) to pull ahead 15-8 with 12:34 to play in the first. The Cougars responded with back-to-back layups from sophomore Biko Gayman (Fort Pierce, Fla.) and junior Brendan Kittredge (Clinton, Mass.) to come within three (15-12). Another three from Lapeyrolerie at the 11:18 mark brought Clark within two (17-15). The Lancers never gave up that lead and took the 39-30 advantage into the halftime break.
-Dion hit two threes in the first half, including one from several feet behind the line. Will Watkins Jr. (Southbridge, Mass.) also pitched in two threes during the half. On the inside, Shaun McCarthy (Oxford, Mass.) and Emeka Egwuatu (Worcester, Mass.) combined for 14 points, with most of it coming at the rim.
-Gayman led the way for the Cougars in the first half, scoring 10 points on 4-7 shooting. Lapeyrolerie shot 2-4 from three to chip in six points for Clark.
-The Lancers stout defense helped keep their lead throughout the half, as they forced 8 turnovers and held Clark to 40% shooting.
-The Cougars opened the second half on an 11-2 run to tie the game at 41. Tyler Davern (Webster, Mass.) scored seven of those, including an and-one that tied the score.
-The Lancers regained the lead by going on a series of small runs. Once leading, the Lancers would not give it up for the rest of the game. A clutch three from Watkins would put the Lancers up eight with only two minutes to play, effectively sealing it for the Lancers.
-Gayman was successful on one last drive to the basket at the buzzer, but the Lancers came away with the six-point victory, 87-81.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
-Gayman paced the Cougars on offense with 23 points and adding in five assists. Kittredge had a double-double for Clark consisting of 17 points and 10 rebounds.
-Dion led the way for the Lancers with 21 points and four assists while shooting 7-15 from the floor and 3-6 from three. McCarthy chipped in 16 points and four rebounds and Chris Cardoso (Jamaica Plain, Mass.) finished with a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
-The Cougars were 32-69 (47.1%) from field goal range while the Lancers were 30-63 (47.6%). The hosts also held an advantage in rebounds, 45-35. Both teams turned the ball over an even 14 times. Clark converted 13 points from those turnovers while Worcester State converted 12.
-Clark will be on the road for their next game against Newbury College on Tuesday, November 13 at 7:00 p.m.
-Up next for the Lancers is a road game on Sunday, November 11 as they head to Roger Williams for a 2 p.m. tip-off.