BOSTON, Mass. – With a Aretha Sullivan lay-up with 17 seconds left and a free throw by Ogechi Ezemma, Clark University spoiled the Beacons upset bid as they snuck past women's basketball by the final of 67-64 Friday evening in the Clark Athletic Center Gymnasium.
UMass Boston 64, Clark University 67
UMass Boston (5-5)
Clark University (8-2)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Trailing 61-64 with 1:17 to play in the fourth, sophomore guard Ariana Rivera (Burlington, Mass.) drained a huge 3-pointer to even the score at 64-all with just 33 seconds left on the clock. Following a Beacons timeout, Sullivan would coast-to-coast and score a contested lay-up to give the Cougars the two-point advantage with just 17 ticks left on the clock.
On UMass' next possession, the Beacons would work the ball into senior Katrina Edwards (Springfield, Mass.), who went-up for what would have been the tying lay-up. Unfortunately, a block by Ezemma would stop the Beacons last second effort to tie the game again. Ezemma would also grab the rebound, and was fouled as she brought the ball up the court.
The foul was the fifth for the Beacons and sent Ezemma to the line for a pair of shots. Ezemma missed her but drained her second to make it a three point affair with 3.2 seconds left on the clock. The Beacons inbounded the ball in hopes of getting it off before the buzzer sounded. However, the Cougars were able to deflect the pass away to prevent any chance of the buzzer beater.
Ezemma led the contest with 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting, 6-of-9 from the free throw line. She also had 13 rebounds for the games only double-double. For the Beacons, Katie Mathieu (Coventry, Conn.) dropped in 17 points to go along with seven rebounds. Raven Kelsey (Boston, Mass.) pulled down a team-high 12 boards, while Taje Burston (Springfield, Mass.) finished with 14 points in the non-conference loss.
BY THE NUMBERS
- All-time Clark University leads the series 2-1
- Thursday's contest marked the first meeting between UMass Boston and Clark since the 1984-85 season
- On the night Clark shot 39.7% while UMass Boston finished shooting 36.9%
- Neither team shot over 21.4% from behind the arc and over 61% from the charity stripe
- Clark held a 46-34 advantage on the glass
- Rivera closed out the loss with 13 points and six rebounds, while Edwards had 10 points and four blocked shots.
The Beacons travel to Brandeis University on January 3 for a 6 p.m. non-conference game.