WORCESTER, Mass. - The Wheaton College men's basketball team snapped its five game losing streak Wednesday night with a critical New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) win over Clark University.
The win by the Lyons creates four-way tie for third place in the NEWMAC standings, while giving Wheaton an advantage over the Cougars in a tiebreaker situation. Wheaton officially completed the sweep of Clark with the win. Both Babson and MIT have secured first-round byes in the upcoming league tournament, while all six other teams are still alive for the final three spots. Clark, WPI, Springfield and Wheaton all sit at 5-6 in conference contests, while Emerson and Coast Guard are both 2-9.
Senior Quinton Dale knocked down 15 points for Wheaton in the win, to lead a balanced offensive attack for the Lyons. Dale added six rebounds, while both David Carbonello and Alex DuBrow chipped in 13 points. Timothy Berry led the Lyons with seven rebounds, while contributing eight points.
David Mercier led the Cougars with a game-high 21 points, while Joe Atkinson added 16 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Luca McCormick and Lamar Berk each netted 10 points in the loss.
The opening half was a tightly contested until a 10-4 run by the Lyons made it a 20-13 game with 9:09 on the clock. The Cougars slowly chipped away at the deficit throughout the remainder of the opening frame, pulling within four, 34-30, as the two sides headed to the locker room.
The game was tied, 36-36, early in the second half when the Lyons took the lead for good with a 16-4 run that made it a 52-40 contest. The scoring burst featured three points from Carbonello, a pair of layups by Dale and a three from Berry in the corner. Sophomore Riley Tetreault connected on a three of his own moments later to push Wheaton's lead to 58-47. Clark continued to fight, pulling within six points with the help from Mercier and John Pisacreta. The Cougars managed to get within a point, 69-68, with 1:13 to go in the game, but DuBrow pushed the Wheaton lead back to three moments later.
Wheaton shot 46 percent from the field for the game, including 50 percent (13-for-26) in the second half. The difference, however, proved to be free throw shooting as the Lyons made their first 18 and finished 22-for-25, while the Cougars, went 11-for-21 from the charity stripe.
Wheaton returns home for its next contest, hosting WPI on Feb. 15 for a 7 p.m. tip in Emerson Gymnasium.