NEW LONDON, Conn.-- Senior Nick Sergio made a pair of free throws with 2.1 seconds left in double overtime leading Merchant Marine to a 78-76 double overtime win over rival Coast Guard in a non-conference game.
Coast Guard (2-6) forced overtime when sophomore Kevin Alvarez took the inbounds pass and made a driving layup with 0.9 seconds left to tie the game 60-60 after Sergio gave the Mariners a lead on a layup with six seconds left in regulation.
In the first overtime, Coast Guard senior John Benedict hit a 3-pointer with 32.8 seconds left to pull the Bears to within 70-69 before Sergio made one of two free throws with 29.9 seconds left for a 71-69 lead.
Benedict tied the game on a layup with 13.5 seconds left in the first overtime. Alvarez came up with a steal and his deep 3-point attempt rattled in and out sending the game to double overtime.
Sophomore George Hatzioannides made one of two free throws to break a 75-75 tie with 1:43 left before Benedict also made one of two freebies to tie the game 76-76 with 1:33 left.
Sergio had a key offensive rebound with 2.1 seconds left after each team had missed a field goal and converted both free throws.
Senior Devonte Weems took the inbounds and threw up a desperation deep 3-pointer in as the buzzer sounded.
Sergio led all scorers with 25 points and a game-high 13 rebounds while Hatzioannides had 14 points and six steals off the bench while sophomore Andrew Williams finished with 12 points and nine rebounds off the bench for the Mariners.
Merchant Marine (3-3) shot 46.7 percent from the field (28-60) while making 2 of 8 from 3-point range.
Benedict and sophomore Ryan McNeil led Coast Guard with 19 points each. Benedict was 3 of 5 from behind the arc while McNeil was 4 of 9 from 3-point range as the Bears shot 37.3 percent from the field (22-59) and 10 for 29 from 3-point range.
Sophomore Ricky Rodriguez finished with a season-high 14 points, a career-high nine rebounds to go with four steals off the bench while Weems had ten points and a season-high seven assists for Coast Guard.
The Mariners held a 47-35 edge on the glass with 15 offensive rebounds and outscored the Bears 40-18 in the paint.
The game was tied 30-30 at halftime with neither team leading by more than four in the opening stanza.
Merchant Marine took its largest lead of the game 50-41 following a layup by Sergio with 11:45 left before the Bears scored ten straight to regain the lead.
McNeil scored eight straight as he hit back-to-back treys and then knocked a pair of free throws with 8:51 left to pull the Bears to within 50-49 before an Alvarez layup gave the Bears a 51-50 lead with 8:01 left.
The Bears are off until after Christmas when they travel to Division I Army on December 30th for a 1 p.m. tip.
POST GAME COMMENTS FROM HEAD COACH KEVIN JASKIEWICZ