Bears Season Comes to Close at Springfield

Senior Kevin Alvarez
Senior Kevin Alvarez

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Coast Guard saw its season come to an end with an 81-75 loss at Springfield in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) game.

If the Bears had won they would have qualifed for the NEWMAC tournament for the first time since the 2011 season. Coast Guard finished 10-15 overall and 5-9 in conference play while Springfield improved to 11-14 overall and 7-7 in the NEWMAC.

Springfield was 27-of-58 (46.6%) from the field in the victory, while the Bears shot 24-of-55 (43.6%) on the afternoon. Springfield held a 38-30 rebounding advantage, while also picking up 13 assists in the win.

It was the upperclassmen that led the Pride on Saturday afternoon, as the trio of Josh Downes, Josh Altman and Larry Piretra combined to score 52 of Springfield's 81 points on the afternoon. Downes led with 20 on 6-of-10 shooting from the field, while Altman dropped 19 and Piretra with 13 points, six rebounds and three steals.

For the Bears, senior guard Kevin Alvarez  posted a game-high 24 points, while sophomore Darius Adams chipped in 14 points, five rebounds and an assist in the loss.

The Bears jumped out to an early 7-2 advantage following a three-pointer from Adrian Chuquillangui, but the Pride would quickly erase the deficit when a triple from Altman with 11:20 left in the frame made it 10-9, Coast Guard.

Following a pair of free-throws from Devon Zych to make it 22-16, Bears, with 7:52 left in the half, Springfield once again closed the gap to a pair of points when senior guard Alex Garstka drilled one from behind the arc to make it 24-22, with 6:20 to go.

Springfield would even the score at 28 apiece when Piretra picked up a huge offensive rebound, before Downes buried a deep two with 2:16 to go. Downes would pick up a free-throw with 40 seconds to make it 32-21, Coast Guard heading into the break.

The Pride took an early two-point lead in the second half when Altman converted a lay-up to make it 35-34, Springfield, just 53 seconds into the frame, but Coast Guard quickly answered when Alvarez knocked down a three on the ensuing possession to give the Bears a two-point edge.

Trading baskets for a majority of the second half, the Pride eventually would take a four-point lead when Downes converted a pair of baskets in transition to give Springfield the game's momentum. Following Downes, Piretra capped off a 7-0 run for the hosts when he drilled a three-pointer of his own with 3:10 remaining to make it 69-62, Springfield.

The Bears would remain resilient, and come all the way back to within one when Adams converted a pair of free-throws with 1:21 left, but a free-throw from Altman gave Springfield the seperation it needed, as the Pride finished the game off on the charity stripe, sealing the 81-75 victory.

The game was the final game in the careers of the three seniors Alvarez, Ricky Rodriguez and Mark Krebs.


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