Wellesley Basketball Steals NEWMAC Victory Over Clark, 50-46

Senior Chelsea Brown dropped in a career-high 18 points in the win (Julia Monaco).
Senior Chelsea Brown dropped in a career-high 18 points in the win (Julia Monaco).

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Senior Chelsea Brown (San Jose, Calif.) dropped in a career-high 18 points to help Wellesley College basketball erase a 33-25 halftime deficit and defeat visiting Clark University, 50-46, in New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Saturday afternoon at Gracia Mangano Martore '73 Court. 

The Blue used a swarming defensive to improve to 6-11 overall and 3-7 in conference play with the victory. Clark drops to 9-11 on the year and 3-8 in the NEWMAC. 

Brown finished as one of two Wellesley players in double figures, as sophomore guard Caitlin Aguirre (El Paso, Texas) added 16 points while knocking down 3-of-4 attempts from distance. Senior Kayla Jang (South Pasadena, Calif.) dished out a career-high eight assists. Sophomore Emily Kopp (King Ferry, N.Y.) was held off the score sheet but made an impact with a team-high seven boards and five steals. Led by Kopp, all five Wellesley starters had at least one steal in the game. 

Clark junior Maya Kerstetter (Northampton, Mass.) was dialed in from distance in the setback, knocking down 5-of-7 attempts from beyond the arc to finish with a team-high 15 points. Classmate Rachael Chen (Needham, Mass.) chipped in with eight points in 20 minutes off the Clark bench. Senior Haley Wilder (Rindge, N.H.) and junior Ogechi Ezemma (Hope Valley, R.I.) combined for 17 rebounds, grabbing nine and eight, respectively.

Trailing at the half, Wellesley locked down defensively in the third quarter, holding Clark to just five points. An 8-3 run over the opening 5:17 of the quarter cut the Cougar lead to 36-34, but the Blue would only take the lead as time expired in the third. Jang found first year Lane Arkangel (Redondo Beach, Calif.) for a three from the corner to put Wellesley in front, 39-38, heading into the fourth. 

Wellesley would lead throughout a low scoring fourth quarter, taking their largest lead of the afternoon, at 45-38, when Brown hit a jumper with 7:38 to play. The Blue finished at just 33.3% (20-of-60) from the field, but Wellesley scored 25 points off of 25 Clark turnovers, while racking up 19 steals, to find the difference in the contest.

Clark finished at 45.9% (17-of-37) from the field and shot 8-of-16 from three-point range. The Cougars also had a narrow 33-30 advantage on the glass, but the Blue were spurred by an 18-10 advantage in offensive rebounds.

Wellesley will play at MIT on Wednesday, January 31, at 6:00 PM. Clark returns home to host Emerson on Wednesday at 7:00 PM.