Clarke Pours in Career-High 27 Points in Western Carolina's 66-58 Win over Furman

CATAMOUNTSPORTSDOTCOM Emily Clarke scored a career-high 27 points against Furman.
Emily Clarke scored a career-high 27 points against Furman.

Jan. 2, 2010

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CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Junior Emily Clarke lit up the court with a career-high 27 points to help lead Western Carolina women's basketball to a 66-58 win over Furman (4-11, 2-4 SoCon) Saturday in the Ramsey Center. The Catamount victory over the Paladins halts a five-game losing streak, and evens Western Carolina's Southern Conference record to 2-2, pushing its overall record to 3-10.

Clarke has led Western Carolina in scoring in five of the last six games and also hit double figure scoring in five of the last six games. Her first five field goals in the game were three-pointers and she ended the contest with a career-high six three-pointers. Her nine total field goals were also a career-high.

Western Carolina led by one point, 23-22, at halftime in the nip and tuck contest. With 4:04 left in the first half, the score was tied at 20 after Kaila'Shea Menendez hit a lay-up. Furman answered with a jumper by Susan Troutman to give the Paladin's a two-point advantage.

A three-pointer by Jessica Jackson, with 1:09 left, gave the Catamounts a slim one-point advantage headed into the locker room. Western Carolina shot just 32.1 percent from the field in the first half.

In contrast to the first half, Western Carolina shot a scorching 54.5 percent from the field in the second half. The Catamounts went on a 12-3 run in the first seven minutes of the second half to build its largest lead of the game, eight points, to make the score 35-27. It was then time for Furman to go on a run of its own, answering with a 14-4 run to re-take the lead at 41-39 with 8:35 remaining.

Clarke answered, as she did all game, nailing a three-pointer to give Western Carolina a one-point lead, 42-41, with 8:15 left. Although Furman cut Western Carolina's lead to one point four more times, in a five minute span, the Paladin's never led again.

Western Carolina's narrow lead of one point was pushed to four points when Clarke hit her sixth three-pointer of the game with 4:08 remaining. After struggling for most of the game at the free throw line, Western Carolina went 8-for-8 in the final 35 seconds of the game to keep Furman at bay. Overall, the Catamounts were 15-of-24 from the charity stripe for 62.5 percent.

The Catamounts committed 18 turnovers in the game against Furman and the Paladins converted those miscues into 21 points. Western Carolina converted just nine points from Furman's 12 turnovers. WCU also won the rebounding battle pulling down 41 boards as opposed to Furman's 29.

Western Carolina had two other players record double figure scoring performances against Furman as Kendra Carroll added 12 points and Menendez poured in 10 points. Jackson dished out seven assists and sophomore forward TT Belcher ripped down a career-high nine rebounds.

The Catamounts continue their three-game home stand by hosting Appalachian State on Monday. Tip time is set for 7 p.m.



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