WBB: Cougars Edge Fitchburg State in Home Opener

Photo by Frank Poulin
Photo by Frank Poulin

WORCESTER, Mass.  – Sophomore Ginny Benbow (Durham, Conn.) finished one point off her career-high as the guard's 15-point performance led five student-athletes in double-figures for the Cougars with the team holding off Fitchburg State, 71-69, in non-conference action at the Kneller Athletic Center on Wednesday night.

The Basics

Score: Cougars 71, Falcons 69

Records: Clark University (2-1), Fitchburg State (0-2)

How it Happened

Clark University enjoyed its best offensive night of the season as Benbow's 15-point outing led four starters in double-figures, pushing the team over the 70-point threshold for the first time on the campaign.

Emily Sifferlen (North Andover, Mass.) matched her teammate with 15 points while Hannah Favaloro (Blackstone, Mass.) and Sarah Zambrano (South San Francisco, Calif.) tallied 12 and ten points respectively. Sophomore Hallie Johnson (Princeton, Mass.) logged her first career double-double, pulling down a game-high 14 rebounds to go with 10 points.

Clark University began the game with momentum, starting on the defensive end as the team forced seven turnovers in the opening ten minutes. The Cougars used the hot-start to open up a 10-2 lead over the first three minutes, forcing the visitors to call a timeout with 7:15 left in the frame.

Fitchburg State regrouped, controlling an 18-10 run through the remainder of the quarter and tying the game at 20-20 following a buzzer-beating triple from Emma Thomson. The Cougars extended the advantage in the second quarter as Favaloro's four points led six point-scorers in the frame from the host, with the team taking a 35-31 lead into the break.

The Cougars put together their best offensive quarter of the game during the third session, leading a 24-14 point total through the ten minutes. Clark found the rhythm offensively over the span, shooting 10-for-19 during the period with Sifferlen leading the charge with eight points while Julia Beebe (Andover, Conn.) aided the run with five points off the bench.

Momentum shifted to the Fitchburg State side for the final quarter as the Falcons erased a 15-point deficit to make things interesting. With 4:27 left to go, Thomson drilled a three-pointer to cut the deficit to just eight points, sparking an 8-0 run for the visitors in the process. But Johnson responded for the Cougars, sealing up the victory with 27 seconds remaining as the sophomore canned a corner triple, providing just enough separation for the 71-69 final.

Up Next:

Clark University heads to Franklin, Mass for the weekend as it will clash with Dean College on Saturday, November 16 in opening round action of the Dean Tip-Off Tournament with the non-conference bout scheduled for 12:00 pm.