Bench Leads Bears Past Wheaton, 73-55
NEW LONDON, Conn.—Junior David Anderson led four Coast Guard players in double-figures with a game-high 19 points to go with his team-high six rebounds off the bench leading the Bears to a 73-55 win over Wheaton in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference game.
Coast Guard snapped a three-game slide with the win, its largest margin of victory this season, improving to 5-14 overall and 2-6 in the NEWMAC while Wheaton drops to 7-10 overall and 2-6 in the conference. These two teams are now in a three-way tie with Clark for sixth place in the conference, all a half game out of the fifth and final NEWMAC tournament spot..
Sophomore Kevin Alvarez added 15 points and six rebounds, junior Eli Sponseller added 11 points while sophomore Ricky Rodriguez added ten points in the win for Coast Guard. Senior Devonte Weems had a game-high five assists. In all, the Coast Guard bench out-scored the Wheaton bench 37-8.
Sophomore Billy Battaglia had 13 points to lead Wheaton while freshman Quinton Dale and senior Will Bayliss each added 12 points for the Lyons. Dale had a game-high eight rebounds.
The Bears, who led 38-31 at halftime, doubled their lead taking a 54-40 lead with 10:32 left following five straight points by sophomore Kevin Alvarez with 10:32 left in the game.
Coast Guard led 54-42 with 10:08 left before scoring nine straight taking a 63-42 lead with 5:23 left to put the game away.
The Bears shot 51 percent from the field (26-51) while shooting a season-high 64.3 percent from behind the arc (9-14) while Wheaton shot 42.6 percent (23-54) from the floor making 3 for 15 from 3-point range. The Bears held a 36-27 edge in rebounding in the win.
Coast Guard made its first four field goals and jumped out to a 10-2 lead with 17:43 left in the first half.
Wheaton would close to 12-9 with 16:19 left before the Bears ran off 11 straight including back-to-back 3-pointers by Anderson and Sponseller to start the run as Coast Guard opened up a 23-9 lead with 13:56 left in the opening half. Anderson had eight of the 11 points in the run including a pair of treys. Coast Guard made nine of its first 11 field goals in the game to open up the 14-point lead.
The Lyons would respond with a 14-3 spurt as Coast Guard went cold from the floor missing five straight field goals and Wheaton cut the deficit to 26-23 with 6:48 left in the half.
Coast Guard would heat up once again in the final four minutes using a 10-3 run capped on back-to-back buckets by Alvarez giving the Bears a 38-29 lead with 1:13 left.
The Bears shot 53.8 percent in the first half (14-26) including 5 for 6 from 3-point range and led 38-31 at halftime. Wheaton was 12 of 26 from the floor (42 percent) in the first half and 2 of 8 from behind the arc.
Wheaton beat the Bears 65-53 at Norton, Mass. back on January 8th, the home team has won the last six straight meetings in the series.
Coast Guard returns to action on Wednesday, February 5th when they travel to take on Clark at 5:00 pm before returning home on Saturday, February 8th for a 1:00 pm tilt with MIT.
POST GAME COMMENTS FROM HEAD COACH KEVIN JASKIEWICZ