Defense Flexes Muscles Early as Women's Basketball Completes Season Sweep of Clark

Ama Biney

Worcester, MA --- WPI held Clark scoreless for the first ten plus minutes of the game as the visiting Engineers built a lead they would never relinquish, moving past the Cougars, 63-48, in a New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball matchup on Wednesday evening. 

The win for the Engineers comes on the heels of their dramatic overtime win over first-place Springfield on Saturday and extends their winning streak to three straight. WPI now sits at 14-6 overall and 7-4 in conference contests. For the Scarlet and White, meanwhile, they have now dropped 12 straight games to slip to 3-16. 

WPI scored the game's first 14 points as they forced Clark to miss their initial 19 shots until a long two-pointer from Haley Wilder (Fitzwilliam, NH) finally put the Cougars on the board. 

After not scoring for a majority of the half, the Scarlet and White picked up the pace tallying 16 points over the final seven plus minutes highlighted by Wilder's buzzer-beating three-pointer, inching the score to 30-18 at the half. 

Clark cut the lead to as few as nine points on a couple of occasions – the last coming on a three-pointer from Brooke Brennan (Weston, MA) that had the Cougars within striking distance at 40-31 with a little more than 11 minutes to play. 

The Engineers wasted little time regaining control, going on a 7-0 run that featured an Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) layup, a Rachel Pineda (Shrewsbury, MA) fast break finish and a Lisa Mendez (Yonkers, NY) three-pointer. 

Clark made another push getting as close as 11 at the 5:21 mark on a top-of-the-key jumper from Wilder, but just as they did before, WPI had an answer. Another 7-0 spurt – six of which came on inside hoops from Jessica Larsen (Poway, CA) – put the game away. 

The Engineers shot 45 percent from the field and held a slight advantage (40-36) on the glass. They controlled the interior, however, outscoring Clark 30-6 and they turned the Cougars' 16 turnovers in 17 points. 

Anchored by Larsen and Mendez, the Crimson and Grey's bench played a huge part, getting 28 points. 

Brennan actually led all scorers with 15 points on five three-pointers. As a team, Clark only made 15 field goals – ten of which came from behind the arc. 

Wilder had her most productive day as a collegian, finishing with a career-high 12 points on 4-for-7 shooting in just 20 minutes of action, while Sam O'Gara (Worcester, MA) added nine points, four rebounds and three assists. 

Biney led the Engineers with 13 points – her third straight game and seventh in the last eight – in which she has reached double figures. Both Larsen and Mendez each chipped in ten points and Dani Davis (East Granby, CT) totaled nine points, seven rebounds and three assists in 30 minutes of action. 

Both teams are back in action on Saturday with 1:00 p.m. home games. The Engineers will welcome Smith, while Clark entertains MIT.

Release Courtesy Clark Sports Information