Clark Athletics and NEWMAC Weekly Round-Up (1/16/23-1/23/23)


William Schechter, Sports Editor

“Guard Isaiah Taylor attacking towards the basket with the ball.” All images provided for this article are sourced to William Schechter
Guard Isaiah Taylor attacking towards the basket with the ball. All images provided for this article are sourced to William Schechter

Hello and welcome to the first 2023 edition of the Clark Athletics and NEWMAC recap. I am ecstatic to be back for another semester of Cougz sports as we wrap up the winter sports season and cover the start of spring athletics.

Blast From the Past
On Nov. 16, the women’s basketball team took down Fitchburg State 91-51; Clark’s victory was secured by a truly titanic performance from forward Alaina Schatzabel, scoring 33 points and grabbing 23 total rebounds – a Wilt Chamberlain-esque statline from the junior.
The men’s basketball team beat Westfield State by 27 points on Dec. 1st. All five starters scored double-digit points in the game, including a double-double from Kekoa McArdle. Six days later, Isaiah Taylor put up an impressive 30 points in a thrilling overtime loss to Tufts University.
And in the new year, the Cougars opened NEWMAC conference play with a win over MIT, 89-61, on Jan. 4, in which first-year Reid Neumann scored 23 points.). Finally, on Jan. 6, the women’s basketball team won their NEWMAC debut against Wheaton College, coming out on top of a 58-56 nailbiter.

This Week’s Competitions

Guard Reid Neumann moving around a screen set by forward Kekoa McArdle.

Moving on to the competitions over the past seven days, we start off with women’s basketball taking on Lesley University at home on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday Jan. 16. The Cougars walloped the Lynx 83 to 51. Clark came out of halftime strong, scoring 35 points in the third quarter while only allowing Lesley to score 11.
Both basketball teams played on Wednesday, Jan. 18, with the men’s team hosting WPI and the women’s team visiting Babson College. The men’s team made a valiant effort against the conference-topping Engineers, but fell short in the end, 83-75. The Clark women’s team fell to the Beavers, 42 to 70.

The next set of Clark events were on Saturday, Jan. 21. Both swimming and diving teams had a meet and both basketball teams played in their respective games.
The Cougars took on the Coast Guard Bears for their senior day meet at the Kneller pool. Clark’s men’s squad was unable to capture victory, losing 175 to 50. Despite the team loss, junior Alex Bielecki was able to win the 100-yard breaststroke event. As for the women’s side, they lost 143 to 77 against the Bears. It was not all bad news however, with Clark winning in the one meter dive (Cai Hall), 100-yard breaststroke (Kenzie Landsittel), and the 400-yard freestyle relay.

Guard Jordan Richard standing in the corner behind the arc.

Clark women’s basketball played Smith College at home, losing 64-36 in the afternoon game. The men’s basketball team was up next, hosting Springfield College. The Cougz won the final competition of the week 80 to 62. Sophomore Isaiah Tylor scored 22 in the win on 43 percent shooting from behind the arc. The second-highest scorer in this competition was junior guard Jordan Richard, who put up 15 points in the win. Richard has enjoyed an expanded role on the team since Dec. 29, playing at least 30 minutes in each of the team’s last five matchups.

Weekly Accolades
As for this week’s accolades, both player and game of the week go to the women’s basketball team. The player of the week is Junior forward Alaina Schatzabel, who averaged 14.7 points across the team’s three games this week. Schatzabel’s consistency, scoring double digits in all three matches, won her the honor for this week. Although the Cougz went 1-2 in their three games, the junior from Kennebunk, Maine remained a leader for the squad.
As for game of the week, that goes to the women’s basketball team for their blowout win on Jan. 16 against Lesley University. Not only did the Cougars win by 32 points, but they also put in a great team effort. Four players scored in the double digits, showing the team’s ability to work the ball around. Schatzabel scored a team-high 16, while guard Mariah Harris put up 14 points and 6 assists. Overall, it was an efficient team win for the Cougz.

Around the NEWMAC
Two basketball games from around the NEWMAC stood out as particularly interesting from the past week. First, on Wednesday, Jan. 18 the Wheaton Lyons took on the Emerson Lions in a men’s basketball showdown.
Emerson ended up winning the Lion (Lyon, depending on who you ask) showdown, with the game finishing 89 to 86. Emerson was up 86-81 with under a minute left when Wheaton went on a five to two run, bringing the game within one score. In the end Emerson drained a clutch free throw to put the game away 89-86. Both teams have similar records, giving this matchup possible early playoff implications.
Staying with Jan. 18, there was another tightly-contested NEWMAC showdown. The Smith College women’s basketball team took on WPI in a game that saw the Pioneers win by three in overtime (67-64). Smith is 15-1 this year overall, only losing one game and being ranked in the top five nationally for Division III of the NCAA. WPI on the other hand is 11-4, also a strong record; the Engineers fought well, but in the end they could not overcome Smith’s might. Although still early in NEWMAC play, this was yet another game with potential ramifications come playoff time.

Looking Ahead
Next week will bring on yet another round of basketball and swimming competitions for the Cougars. On Tuesday, Jan. 24, swim and dive will head over to WPI for a worcester-centric meet. Both basketball teams are on the docket for Wednesday Jan. 25, with the men’s team taking Babson College on the road and the women’s squad visiting the Coast Guard Academy. Finally, for upcoming events, on Saturday, Jan. 28 both swim and dive teams will head to Brandeis University for a meet with the Judges. Also on Saturday, both basketball teams will be on the road once again, with the women’s team facing Wheaton College and the men’s team eyeing up a showdown with MIT.
This just about concludes the first Clark and NEWMAC recap for 2023. I look forward to bringing all Clark sports fans more content for this semester and beyond. I hope to see some of my fellow Clarkies at sporting events this semester (I’ll be there taking pictures for this series). Good luck to Clark in their upcoming competitions, and as always, roll Cougz!