Sports

Athlete of the Week: Clarke ’14 lights up senior night, downs Tigers

On senior night, Clarke logs 24 points, including six treys, to help Bruno upset Tigers

By
Sports Staff Writer
Friday, March 7, 2014

Hailing from Colts Neck, N.J., Lauren Clarke ’14 has played basketball most of her life. The current co-captain of the women’s basketball team and last season’s MVP for the Bears is coming to the end of her record-breaking career at Brown. She has been an integral part of the team, starting all but two games over her four years. This season she has led the team’s scoring with 420 points, hitting double digits in all but three games.

In her last home game with the Bears last Saturday, Clarke led them to victory against Princeton, the current conference leader and four-time defending Ivy League champion. For scoring 24 points in the 61-58 win that ended a 16-game Brown losing streak against the Tigers, Clarke is The Herald’s Athlete of the Week.

 

Herald: What do you like best about home games, and what do you like best about away ones?

Clarke: Home games are always fun because I usually have at least some of my family there, and some other girls’ families (are) there, so it’s just nice to have them there supporting you, hang out for a little bit after. And just playing on the Pizz(itola), it’s home court, it’s where we practice, it’s comfortable. Road trips are pretty fun. You spend a lot of time with the team, you go out to eat. If it’s a tournament, sometimes we’ll do activities. It’s cool to see all the different Ivy schools and to spend time with all the girls.

 

What’s the feeling of beating Princeton, ending an eight-year losing streak against them?

Not only that, but obviously we haven’t been having the best season — not getting the results we wanted. So just being able to ruin their season — they were almost definitely in first, and now they’re probably going to have to play Penn for it. So not only that, but for our own sakes it was awesome to go out like that, and have our last home game and beat them. All week our coach was saying we can beat Princeton, anybody can beat them, if we just work hard and focus.

 

You’ve started all games for Brown for the past two seasons. What do you do to keep such a high fitness level, with no injuries?

We condition in the preseason, we have a great strength and conditioning coach. Over the summer I was in Spain, so I kind of had to make up my own things to try to stay in shape. In practice we just do a lot of game-like stuff, like scrimmaging and different drills that simulate games.

 

You’re currently the eighth top scorer in Brown history, with 1,279 career points, and the all-time leader in career three-pointers, with 201. How does it feel to leave such marks in Brown history?

Yeah, it’s awesome. I didn’t really come in with any type of that expectation, I just wanted to come in and do my best. To have something left behind like that is just a great feeling. It’s kind of cool to have something physically left behind, other than just my efforts.

 

What was your favorite game for Brown?

Currently it’s definitely (last week’s game against Princeton). That win was just an all-around team win, we just played so well together. It was almost like the stars were aligned for us, and we just took advantage and played one of our best games we’ve ever played together. But before that I might have to say it was either freshman year (2010) when we beat the Florida Gators — it was a similar game, it was a huge upset — or when we beat Harvard by one (in 2011).

 

Is there anything you would like to say to yourself four years ago?

Just to always stay positive and no matter what happens to always keep your head up and look at the possibilities that can happen. No matter how bad things are going there’s always something good that can come out of it. And just to cherish the time, because it goes by quickly.

 

What are you looking forward to after graduating?

I’m definitely looking forward to having a little bit more of a flexible schedule, not having such a time commitment. It will definitely be weird not seeing everyone. I’m friends with all the girls, but we kind of have a set time every day where we see each other, so that will be different. It will be cool to have some flexibility with my time and explore different things.

 

What are you going to miss the most about Brown?

I think just living with my friends and having everybody in walking distance, hanging out with them and being with them basically every single day. And kind of just having the freedom we do now while avoiding these future responsibilities.