Bears Battle Back from 20 Down to Beat Wheaton; Alvarez Ties School-Record with 39 Points

Kevin Alvarez
Kevin Alvarez

NEW LONDON, Conn. –  Senior Kevin Alvarez tied a school-record with 39 points and made a pair of free throws with 1.1 seconds left leading Coast Guard to an improbable come-from-behind 78-77 win over Wheaton in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) game.

Coast Guard, which trailed by as many as 20 in the first half, saved its season and improved to 9-9 overall and 3-5 in the conference while Wheaton drops to 8-10 overall and 2-6 in the NEWMAC.

Alvarez, who had 26 points in the second half, was 15 of 24 from the floor while making 7 of 9 from the foul line. Sophomore Ethan Boose added ten points and nine rebounds in the win.

Peter Keel (1997) and John Gallagher (1986) also scored 39 points in a game for the Bears.

Senior Billy Battaglia had 17 of his team-high 24 points in the first half for Wheaton while junior Timothy Berry finished with 20 points. Junior Quinton Dale had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Coast Guard was 27 of 63 from the field (42.9 percent) while hitting 4 of 17 from beyond the arc while Wheaton shot 38.3 percent (23-60), but just 24 percent (6-25) in the second half. The Lyons were 9 of 28 from 3-point range in the loss.

Wheaton jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead in just over a minute. The Lyons took their largest lead of the half 23-14 when Battaglia knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers with 12:48 left.

The Lyons would used a 12-2 run turning a 34-25 lead with 6:49 left into a 46-27 cushion with 2:08 left in the first half. Wheaton led 51-33 at halftime.

Wheaton shot 48.6 percent in the first half (17-35) while hitting 6 of 14 from 3-point range while the Bears were 14 of 30 from the floor (46.7 percent) making 2 of 11 from behind the arc.

Coast Guard would use a 9-2 run to start the second half, the final seven by Alvarez cutting the deficit to 53-42 with 15:44 left in the game.

The Lyons led 63-51 with 11:07 left before the Bears ran off nine straight to pull to within 63-60 with 9:23 left.

Coast Guard would tie the game 68-68 on a free throw by junior Devon Zych with 4:53 left.

The Bears took their first lead of the game 74-72 on a layup by Alvarez with 2:12 left before Berry knocked down a 3-pointer for a 75-74 lead.

Coast Guard regained the lead 76-75 on a layup by Darius Adams with 1:34 left.

Berry made a pair of free throws with 24.9 seconds left giving Wheaton a 77-76 lead.

The Bears are back in action on Wednesday in a key NEWMAC game at Clark with tip set for 5:30.

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