NEW LONDON, Conn.-In the final home games of their respective careers seniors Greg Marshall, Jimmy Knudsen, and Ed Gailor played terrifically but it was not enough to overcome the free throw advantage enjoyed by Albertus Magnus, as Coast Guard fell 87-82. Receiving votes in this week's poll, Albertus Magnus (20-3) got more than they bargained for when they made the trek up I-95 to Merriman Gymnasium as Coast Guard (2-20) played its best basketball game of the season.
The seniors combined for 49 points, 16 rebounds, and five assists in leading an offensive barrage that saw the Bears hit a season-high 50.0 percent (29-for-58) from the field including 39.1 percent (9-for-23) from beyond the arc.
Early action saw the game go back and forth as Coast Guard raced to an 11-5 lead behind the hot shooting of Marshall, who scored seven points in the opening 5:02. Following a 9-0 run by Albertus Magnus – giving them a 24-21 edge – junior Devonte Weems came up with a big layup to cut the deficit to just one, preventing the game from getting away from Coast Guard.
For Coast Guard Marshall finished with a season and game-high 27 points (10-22 shooting) to go along with eight rebounds and two assists. Joining Marshall in double figures were Knudsen (13) and Weems (12). Knudsen also tied a team-high with eight rebounds of his own while Weems recorded his first career double –double, as he doled out a career-high 10 assists. Gailor also chipped in nine of his own to tie a season-high.
The physical play of Coast Guard really seemed to disrupt Albertus Magnus as they struggled shooting the ball in the first half to the tune of just 34.3 percent (12-for-35). But as it does so many times, free throw shooting was the decisive factor in this one as the Falcons were able to shoot 79.4 percent (27-for-34) while Coast Guard, who shot a terrific 83.3 percent, just were not able to get to the line enough (18 attempts).
The play of the game came early on as the Falcons set up a backdoor lob pass for junior Darius Watson, which he promptly thundered home via a one-hand dunk at the 13:04 mark of the first half.
After Coast Guard tied the game at 45-45 with 15:20, senior Ashard Jackson made a jumper in the lane to give Albertus Magnus the lead for good with 15:11 to play. Coast Guard was able to cut the Falcon lead to just one with 4:53 to play on a big three-pointer by Marshall with the assist credited to Weems. A big layup by Watson with 2:29 to play effectively sealed the victory for the Falcons as Coast Guard was able to get no closer than four the rest of the way.
Watson scored 16 of his team-leading 25 in the first half for Albertus Magnus who managed to escape the first half with a slim 37-36 lead thanks to a fortuitous call as the first half buzzer expired. Following a scrum for a loose ball, a whistle sounded that resulted in a foul being called on Marshall. Following an injury, Coach Kevin Jaskiewicz was able to select an Albertus Magnus shooter and chose junior Julian Sanders who hit on one of his two free throws to provide the one point advantage heading into the locker rooms.
Coast Guard will conclude its season on Saturday, February 16th, when they travel to Babson to take on the Beavers. Tip-off is set for 2:00.
Post Game Comments from Head Coach Kevin Jaskiewicz