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Clark Pulls Away From Men's Basketball in Second Half

Clark Pulls Away From Men's Basketball in Second Half

BOSTON, Mass. – Junior Tyler Huffman (West Hartford, Conn.) came off the bench to score a game-high 17 points as the Clark University men's basketball team defeated Wentworth Institute of Technology, 68-59, in non-conference action at Tansey Gymnasium.

With the win the Cougars improve to 2-0 on the season while the Leopards fall to 0-3.

The Leopards held leads of as many as four on three occasions in the first half, including when senior Nico Donato (Glastonbury, Conn.) had a steal and a fast-break layup with 8:11 remaining. Wentworth's largest lead of the half came when senior John-Michael Fragnoli (Scotia, N.Y.) hit a pair of free throws with 6:02 left to put the hosts up five.

Clark cut the lead to one on three occasions late in the half, including when Huffman hit a layup with 1:12 left to make it a 31-30 contest, which was how the half would end. The Cougars shot 40 percent from the floor over the first 20 minutes and the Leopards 34.4 percent.

A sophomore David Mercier (Milford, Mass.) basket to open the second half gave the Cougars a 32-31 lead, however the lead would be short lived as Fragnoli and junior Cam Sennick (Wilton, Maine) hit back-to-back jumpers to give the hosts a 35-32 lead with 18:10 left.

After back-to-back baskets from graduate students Andrew Musler (Belmont, Mass.) and Nicholas DaPrato (Marshfield, Mass.) gave the Cougars a 36-35 lead with 16:39 left, Fragnoli answered with a mid-range jumper to give Wentworth the lead back.

The lead would be short-lived, however, as Clark scored the next six points and took a 42-37 lead on a pair of DaPrato free throws with 14:27 left.

Wentworth cut the deficit to three on a junior Ian Therriault (Auburn, Maine) second-chance basket on the next possession, however the Cougars used an 8-1 spurt to take a 50-40 lead on a senior Conor Dow (Needham, Mass.) deep 3-pointer.

The Leopards were able to cut the deficit in half and trailed 52-47 after freshman Cesar Fulcar (Watertown, Mass.) hit a jumper but Clark immediately answered with a 9-0 run and took a 61-47 lead with 5:31 to play. Clark would lead by as many as 15 down the stretch.

Mercier added 16 points (on 7-for-10 shooting) while DaPrato had 14 points and six rebounds. Muusler chipped in with eight points and seven rebounds and sophomore Lucas LaLima (Colts Neck, N.J.) had five assists.

Fragnoli led the Leopards with 14 points to go along with four rebounds and two assists, Fulcar and Donato had eight points apiece with Donato grabbing five rebounds and having three steals and Fulcar grabbing six boards and dishing out three assists. Therriault added seven points of his own.

Clark is at the Bridgewater State Tournament this weekend, facing the host Bears on Saturday while Wentworth hosts Tufts on Saturday afternoon.

CLARK (2-0)
Tyler Huffman 6-13 2-2 17; David Mercier 7-10 2-2 16; Nick DaPrato 4-9 5-7 14; Andrew Musler 3-8 1-2 8; Conor Dow 2-4 0-0 6; Joe Atkinson 1-2 0-0 2; Corey Gomes 1-1 0-0 2; Matthew Woods 0-1 2-2 2; Lamar Berk 0-4 1-2 1; Lucas LaLima 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-53 13-17 68.
John-Michael Fragnoli 5-11 4-5 14; Nico Donato 4-8 0-0 8; Cesar Fulcar 3-8 1-3 8; Ian Therriault 3-6 0-2 7; Cam Sennick 2-8 2-2 6; Sam Knollmeyer 2-5 0-0 5; Ray Bessette 2-7 0-1 5; Jason Ganley 1-4 2-2 4; Ben Kizel 0-0 2-2 2; Tim Juitt 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-57 11-17 59.
Clark.........................   30   38  -   68
Wentworth.....................   31   28  -   59
3-point goals--Clark 7-25 (Tyler Huffman 3-8; Conor Dow 2-4; Andrew Musler 1-4; Nick DaPrato 1-4; Matthew Woods 0-1; Lamar Berk 0-1; Joe Atkinson 0-1; David Mercier 0-2), Wentworth 4-15 (Sam Knollmeyer 1-3; Cesar Fulcar 1-5; Ian Therriault 1-2; Ray Bessette 1-5). Fouled out--Clark-None, Wentworth-Sam Knollmeyer. Rebounds--Clark 38 (Andrew Musler 7), Wentworth 31 (Cesar Fulcar 6). Assists--Clark 18 (Lucas LaLima 5), Wentworth 15 (Cesar Fulcar 3; Ray Bessette 3; Ben Kizel 3). Total fouls--Clark 18, Wentworth 21. Technical fouls--Clark-None, Wentworth-None. A-130