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Fitchburg State Falls Short Against Clark, 88-85 (OT)

Fitchburg State Falls Short Against Clark, 88-85 (OT)

Ingram-Rubin leads five Falcons in double-figures with 21 points

FITCHBURG, Mass. (November 19, 2013) – The Fitchburg State University men's basketball team opened its 2013-14 home slate this evening, falling in overtime, 88-85 to Clark University at the Recreation Center.

The Cougars (3-0, 0-0 NEWMAC) overcame a 13 point deficit with just 1:44 remaining in the contest to force a five minute overtime period and post their eventual third victory of the season. The Falcons fall to 0-3 on the season.

Clark received a strong offensive effort from senior Nicholas DaPrato (Marshfield, Mass.), who turned in a game-high 40 points with 11-of-23 shooting from the field and a 5-of-10 effort from three point range. DaPrato was electric throughout the second half, totaling 19 points with 3-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc, including the game-tying bucket with 0:16 remaining in regulation.

The Cougars opened the contest with some momentum, posting a five point advantage (17-12) midway through the first half with a three point play from DaPrato and four consecutive points from Andrew Musler (Belmont, Mass.). Clark extended its lead to eight (24-16) by the 5:30 mark, but Fitchburg State rallied back, using a 15-1 run to close the half with a 31-25 advantage.

Sophomore Josh Imadiyi (Lynn, Mass.) and senior Mike Ingram-Rubin (Boston, Mass.) led the Falcons first half efforts with eight points and seven points respectively, while DaPrato added 11 points for the Cougars.

In the second half, Fitchburg State continued its offensive pursuit, opening an eight point lead with a quick basket by Ingram-Rubin, but Clark battled back, cutting the Falcons lead to just two (37-35) with five straight points from Matthew Woods (Arlington, Mass.).

Fitchburg State answered the call with a 14-4 run, using four points from Ingram-Rubin and seven points from Lincoln Wright (Brockton, Mass.) to post a 51-39 advantage. The Falcons maintained their margin over the next five minutes, taking a 13 point lead to the 1:44 mark.

From there, the Cougars took over, spanning together a 17-4 run to force the extra frame. Graduate Marcus Armstrong (Malden, Mass.) kick-started the Clark rally with five straight points over a 0:12 span, while free-throws from Lucas LaLima (Colts Neck, N.J.) and a bucket by DaPrato brought the Cougars within six (72-66). Freshman Joseph Atkinson (Milford, Mass.) followed with a lay-up in the paint, before a three by DaPrato inched Clark within one (72-71).

Sophomore Anthony Muccioli (Nashua, N.H.) looked to seal the victory for the Falcons, hitting a pair of free-throws with just 0:26 remaining, but DaPrato caught fire, nailing another trifecta to knot the score at 74-74. Fitchburg State held for the game-winning shot, but Ingram-Rubin's three-point attempt fell off the mark and forced a five minute overtime period.

In the extra frame, Clark building an early seven point lead with a three from DaPrato and points from Musler and Atkinson, but Fitchburg State chipped away at the Cougar lead, coming within four (85-81) with a trey from Ingram-Rubin.

On its next possession, Clark struck for one as DaPrato hit the back-end of a one-an-one, leaving the door open for the Falcons. Senior Mo Molin (Brockton, Mass.) struck on the other end for the Falcons, hitting the front end of a one-an-one. Ingram-Rubin then followed with a huge three to bring Fitchburg State with one (86-85) with just 0:12 remaining. Clark then turned to DaPrato again, who built the Cougar lead to three with a pair of free-throws.

With 0:09 remaining and the ball in hand, Fitchburg State drove down the floor to force another overtime period. The Falcons looked to free-up Ingram-Rubin but a desperation three from deep beyond the arc fell short, giving Clark the victory.

For the game, Fitchburg State shot 41.3% from the floor, hitting 31-of-75 from the field and 8-of-27 from three point range. Clark controlled the glass with a 54-45 advantage, but the Cougars only shot 36.7% from the floor and 34.4% from three point range.

Fitchburg State will be back in action on Saturday as it hosts Becker College at 1 p.m. Clark will host Wentworth on Thursday at 6 p.m.