NEW YORK, N.Y. – Graduate student DJ Bailey (Palmer, Mass.) led four players in double figures as he scored a game-high 20 points to help the Clark men's basketball team defeat Wentworth, 80-69, in the second game of the 2012 New York University Holiday Classic.
The Cougars jumped out to a 7-2 lead 2:23 into the contest as senior Marcus Armstrong (Malden, Mass.) scored four of his team's first seven points. After senior Corey Therriault (Auburn, Maine) hit a 3-pointer with 16:08 left, which eventually cut the lead to 9-8, the two teams went five possessions without scoring before Leopard sophomore John-Michael Fragnoli (Scotia, N.Y.) hit a layup with 14:30 left to give Wentworth a 10-9 lead.
Clark scored the next four points to re-gain the lead at 13-10 on a Baily basket before freshman Ian Therriault (Auburn, Maine) trimmed the lead back to one with 12:41 to play. However, back-to-back 3-pointers from senior John Karas (South Glastonbury, Conn.) increased the Cougar lead to seven.
Leading by five (22-17) with 7:11 remaining in the half, Clark used an 8-1 run – keyed by five points from graduate student Brian Vayda (Sturbridge, Mass.) and three from Bailey – to push its lead to 32-20. The Cougars led by as many as 14 before taking a 13-point (38-25) lead into the locker room. Over the first 20:00, the Cougars shot 53.8 percent from the floor, while holding the Black & Gold to 31.3 percent.
Bailey's layup 19 seconds into the second stanza gave Clark its largest lead of the night at 15, but Wentworth battled back, using a 19-4 run over the next 6:40, tying the game at 44-all on a freshman Cam Sennick (Wilton, Maine) basket.
The Cougars scored the next five points, with three coming from Bailey, to take a 49-44 lead with 12:35 remaining. The Leopards would respond with a layup from Sennick and a 3-pointer from Corey Therriault to knot the score at 49-all with 10:46 left.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from graduate student Travis Curley (Trumbull, Conn.) put Clark ahead for good at 55-49. Wentworth would get to within three on two occasions, however a 7-0 Cougar run, capped off by an Armstrong 3-pointer, put distance between the two teams.
In addition to his 20 points, Bailey had 13 rebounds, three blocks, two assists, and a pair of steals. Vayda had 16 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists, while Armstrong also added 16 points in the win. Karas had 10 points and three assists to round out the Cougars' double-digit scorers. Clark held a 42-30 rebounding advantage.
Senior Colin Johnson (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) led Wentworth with 16 points, including going 4-for-8 from behind the arc. Junior Derek Mayo (Casco, Maine) had 15 points, seven rebounds, and four assists, while Corey Therriault had 11 points and seven assists. The Leopards turned the ball over a season-low eight times, however Clark would score 15 points off of those miscues.
With the win the Cougars improve to 6-4 on the season, while the Leopards drop their second straight to stand at 5-4. Both teams will play on Sunday as Clark will play host NYU and Wentworth will play Widener. Twenty-fifth ranked NYU edged Widener, 97-88, in overtime in the first game of the evening.