WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Led by Leslie Leong's 17 points, the Wellesley College basketball team opened its NEWMAC schedule with a 63-50 win over Clark University on Tuesday night at the Keohane Sports Center. The win lifts the Blue to 4-1 on the season, 1-0 in conference play. Clark drops to 1-4, 0-1 in the NEWMAC.
Clark opened the game with an 11-6 run, but Wellesley responded with six straight to take a one-point advantage. The teams traded three-pointers midway through the period, with two from Clark's Kate Minister and one each from Wellesley's Katie Shulenberger and Malia Maier, before the Blue pushed the lead to 26-21 with a second trey from Schulenberger. Another Blue three-pointer, this time from Leong, extended the lead to 30-23, but Clark closed the half with four straight to trim the lead to 30-27 at the break.
Wellesley went on a 10-5 run to open the second half, building a 40-32 lead with 13:30 remaining. After a four-minute scoring drought, two free throws from Maier and a layup from Leong extended the lead to 46-34. Clark responded with a late surge, including a three-pointer from Emily Reilly, to cut the lead to 52-45, but the Cougars could get no closer as the Blue cruised to a 63-50 win.
Reilly led the Cougars with 16 points and four steals. Minister added 11 points, while Brittany Kennedy chipped in seven. Kelsey Giedymin grabbed nine boards for the visitors.
Wellesley had four players in double figures, led by Leong with 17, Maier and Ashleigh Sargent with 11 each, and Becca Kimball with 10. Leong also snagged 14 rebounds to lead the Blue, while Sargent grabbed nine. Maier and and Elisha Orama tallied seven and four steals, respectively.
Both squads return to action on Saturday, December 4, at 2:00pm, when Clark will host cross-town rival WPI and Wellesley hosts Mount Holyoke College.