Bears Storm Back, Gain First NEWMAC Win
NEW LONDON, Conn.-Junior David Anderson muscled in a layup with just 56 seconds remaining to give Coast Guard their first lead since the opening minutes as the Bears completed an eight-point come-from-behind victory to knock off Clark, 63-60, in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference match-up on Saturday afternoon.
Trailing 63-60 Clark (9-6, 0-4 NEWMAC) was given one last possession. Coast Guard (3-11, 1-3 NEWMAC) held tight in the middle and the Cougars could get nothing more going than perimeter passing. Junior Conor Dow hoisted a three-point shot with seven seconds to go but it fell out of bounds after bouncing off a Coast Guard defender. On the ensuing inbounds pass, sophomore Tyler Huffman missed a running trey and the ball fell harmlessly to the ground to preserve Coast Guard's first NEWMAC victory of the season.
Freshman Adrian Chuquillangui scored a career-high 16 points including a pair of free throws with just 23 seconds to play to give the Bears a three point cushion and chance to make a final stand on the defensive end.
Faced with the prospect of heading into the half down by four, the Bears got a huge lift heading into the intermission. After a missed three-pointer by sophomore Ricky Rodriguez, senior John Benedict secured the offensive board to set the Bears up for a last shot. Rodriguez would get another crack at a three and this time he would hit it for his fourth three of the half to cut the Clark lead to just one, 30-29, headed into the break. Rodriguez finished the game with 12 points.
Anderson was quiet to start the game, being limited to just four points in the first half but really turned it on late, scoring eight of his 15 points in the final 5:14. Anderson finished with a team-high six rebounds as well.
Graduate student Marcus Armstrong canned a trifecta to make it 57-49 in favor of Clark with just under six minutes to go, prompting a timeout by the Bears. The next three offensive possessions saw Anderson score layups to cut the deficit to just five at 60-55. Anderson would find Benedict (8 points) cutting to the basket on the next possession and Benedict was fouled before hitting a pair of free throws to make it a one-possession game with 3:29 left. Coast Guard closed the game on a 10-0 run over the final 4:40.
Clark shot 46.5 percent from the field (20-43) including hitting 10-24 three-point attempts (although just 4-13 in the second half). The Bears had one of their best all-around offensive games of the season, shooting 37.5 percent from the floor (21-56) but hitting eight of 20 three point attempts and turning it over just nine times.
Senior Andrew Musler scored game-highs with 17 points and 13 rebounds for Clark. Senior Nicholas DaPrato joined Huffman (10) and Musler in double figures with 13 of his own.
Coast Guard returns to action tomorrow, Sunday, January 19th when they step out of conference play for the final time this season as they host Sarah Lawrence at 4:00 pm.
HEAD COACH KEVIN JASKIEWICZ: