Clark Athletics and NEWMAC Weekly Round-Up (2/6/23-2/13/23)


William Schechter

Ian Calabrese and Kekoa McArdle in Clark’s 71 to 73 loss to Wheaton College.

William Schechter, Sports Editor

Hello all Clark Athletics fans and welcome to the penultimate recap of the winter sports season. This week we will look at Clark’s competitions over the past seven days, winter season conclusions, and the upcoming spring sports season. Without further ado, let’s dive right into the round-up.

This Week’s Competitions

Clark Athletics’ first competitions of the week came on Wednesday, Feb. 8, with both basketball teams taking on NEWMAC opponents. The women’s basketball team traveled all the way to Boston for a nighttime matchup with Emerson College. Despite the Cougz leading in the first half, they could not overcome the Lions’ second half performance, falling 68 to 74 on the road. Junior Alaina Schatzabel had yet another stand-out game, scoring 24 points and grabbing half as many rebounds – good for the forward’s fifth double-double of the season.

Men’s basketball is up next, hosting the Wheaton College Lyons at the Kneller. Clark held the lead throughout a large portion of the game, but in the end, the Cougz could not grab the win. Despite falling to the Lyons, Clark still played a hard fought game, losing 71 to 73. Four Cougars scored over 10 in the loss to the Lyons. 

On Saturday, Feb. 11, the men’s team hosted the Babson College Beavers for an afternoon showdown. Yet again, the Cougars played hard until the final buzzer, but were not able to claim victory (62-66). This was also the Cougz’ final home game of the season, meaning it was senior day; two departing team members, graduate student Joel Arteaga and senior Charlie Trey-Masters, were honored with a pregame ceremony. 

Kekoa McArdle, who has been on a tear recently, had his best game of the season on Saturday. The big man scored a whopping 28 points, gathered 15 total rebounds, and shot 87.5 percent from the field. That just about does it for our rewind of the past week, meaning it is time to hand out some silverware.

Forward Kekoa McArdle in Clark’s game against Wheaton College. (William Schechter)

Weekly Accolades

This edition’s athlete of the week award goes to Clark’s premier rim protector, glass cleaner, and paint force, none other than Kekoa McArdle. McArdle averaged 21.5 points across both of Clark’s games this week, including his 28 point showing against Babson. The six foot eight sophomore from Pittsfield, Mass. also collected 10.5 rebounds per contest over the past week, meaning McArdle averaged a double-double. 

Not only did McArdle tally strong counting stats, he also played efficiently, averaging nearly 74 percent from the field in Clark’s two matches. Kekoa McArdle also locked down the paint against Wheaton, holding perennial NEWMAC player of the week and top conference scorer Aaron Williams to just 3-11 from the field. 

As for Clark’s game of the week, we stick with the Cougars against Wheaton College. This game should not be written off just because the final score did not end in Clark’s favor. Despite losing by two, the Cougars still played a great game in the face of a very strong opponent. 

Some key takeaways from the game include Clark holding the best scorer in the NEWMAC to just 27 percent shooting and four Clark players scoring at least ten. These two takeaways tell us that: (1) Clark did a great job spreading the ball around across the whole team, as per usual; (2) the Cougars schemed well for their showdown with the Lyons; and (3) the Cougz have the ability to beat top NEWMAC teams. Scoreboard notwithstanding, men’s basketball should be proud of their tough play this week against Wheaton College – earning this week’s game of the week honor. 

Around the NEWMAC 

One particularly interesting match this past week within the NEWMAC was on Wednesday, Feb. 8 between Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This women’s basketball match saw the Engineers take on the Engineers, or perhaps the Engineers and the Beavers for clarity’s sake. Regardless, MIT pulled out a close 65 to 59 win over WPI, giving the Cambridge-based engineers a half game advantage over their counterparts in Worcester. 

Looking Ahead

As for this upcoming week, the regular season for winter sports officially concludes, and the spring sports season opens up. Men’s basketball will take on Springfield College on the road Wednesday, Feb. 15; with only two games left in the year and Clark up two in the standings on Springfield, a win against the Pride will clinch a Cougar playoff berth. Also on Wednesday, Feb. 15, the women’s basketball squad is set to host Wellesley College at the Kneller. 

The following day, Thursday Feb. 16, Clark’s swim and dive teams will head over to WPI for the NEWMAC Championships. The final Cougar meet of the year runs from Feb. 16-19.

Saturday Feb. 18 will be a busy day for Clark athletics, as two spring sports begin their 2023 campaign that day. Baseball and women’s lacrosse will both start off at home, with women’s lacrosse hosting Gordon College and baseball facing off against Salve Regina. 

Both basketball teams will play their final regular season games Saturday, with the women’s team playing in Cambridge at MIT and men’s basketball taking on WPI on the road. Clark will be hungry for victory against WPI, wanting revenge for the teams’ first matchup this season. A victory on the road against rival WPI – ranked 20 in the nation for Division III basketball – would be a perfect way to cap off the 2022-2023 regular season. 

This past week saw some exciting Clark games and great individual performances. As we look ahead, the upcoming weeks will finish off winter sports and bring about a whole new array of spring sports to cover. Also, be on the lookout for some postseason action with men’s basketball in the playoffs. Until then, this has been your latest edition of the Clark Athletics and NEWMAC round-up, and as always, roll Cougz!