Bears Fall to Conn. in Citizens Bank Tournament Championship

Bears Fall to Conn. in Citizens Bank Tournament Championship

NEW LONDON, Conn.-Sophomore Ryan McNeil scored 21 of his game-high 24 in the first half but it wasn't enough as Connecticut College claimed the championships at the 2013 Citizens Bank Tournament with a 77-65 victory over host Coast Guard. The Camels (4-3) have now won six in a row and eight of nine in the series against Coast Guard (2-5) dating back to an overtime victory in the 2007/08 season.

Conn. used a 22-6 run over a span of seven minutes and 48 seconds to turn a one point deficit into a 59-44 lead with 11:52 to play.  The Camels used five points from senior Matt Vadas and a pair of three-pointers during the stretch to take command of the game.

Vadas, the tournament's Most Valuable Player, led four Conn. players in double figures with 19 points. Freshman Zuri Pavlin recorded a double-double, tallying a game-high 18 rebounds to go along with 10 points while senior Mason Lopez and sophomore Bo McKinley chipped in 16 and 15 points, respectively.

The 24 points for McNeil are a new career-high, eclipsing his previous best of 22, set earlier this year against Mitchell. Joining McNeil in double figures were junior David Anderson and sophomore Ricky Rodriguez with 11 apiece. Senior John Benedict chipped in with nine points and team high seven boards for the Bears who were out-rebounded 42-33 against a bigger Camel team.

McNeil also set a new career-high with three steals on the afternoon.

After spotting Conn. College a 10-0 advantage in the first three minutes and 28 seconds, Coast Guard used a timeout to regroup before going on an 11-3 run to cut the deficit to just two. McNeil made five first half treys, including one with just 1:25 to play to give the Bears a 34-31 lead before heading into half-time all knotted up at 34-34.

Conn. College shot 43.3 (29-67) percent from the field including making 13 of 25 shots from beyond the arc (52 percent) while Coast Guard hit on 44 percent (11-25) of its shots from deep and 40 percent (22-55) from the game.

Joining Vadas on the All-Tournament team were McKinley (Conn.), Anderson (CGA), freshman Thiago Conceicao (UMPI), and junior Darryl Charles (SJC).

Coast Guard returns to action on Tuesday, December 10th when they host archrival Merchant Marine at 7:00 pm.

In the consolation game, freshman Thiago Conceicao and senior Michael Warner each registered double-doubles leading Maine-Presque Isle to an 81-75 win over St. Joseph's of Long Island.

Conceicao had 17 points and a team-high 14 rebounds while Warner, who earned a spot on the All-tournament team, finished with 15 points and 11 boards in the win. Sophomore Chase Vicaire led the Owls with 19 points, three assists and three steals.

Maine –Presque Isle shot 44.8 percent from the floor (30-67) while making 8 of 25 from 3-point range. St. Joseph's shot 34.8 percent from the floor (23-66) and made just 1 of 18 from behind the arc.

St. Joseph's (2-6) led by as many as seven at 18-11 with 11:18 left in the first half before Maine-Presque Isle scored eight straight  taking the lead 19-18 on a jumper by Derek Healy with 8:53 left in the half.

Maine-Presque Isle (3-4) took its largest lead of the first half 35-28 following a layup by Sean Mangati with 3:02 left and the Owls led 39-37 at the break.

The game was tied 59-59 with 10:06 left before the Owls ran off nine straight, the final five by Vicaire, to take a 68-59 lead and they never looked back.

Junior Darryl Charles led all scorers with 28 points to go with 14 board to earn a spot on the All-tournament team while freshman Alex Laurent added 23 points and six boards in the loss for the Golden Eagles.