NEW LONDON, Conn. – Senior Nolan Benson led four Coast Guard players in double figures with a career-high tying 16 points as the Bears beat Roger Williams 71-54 in the season opener for both teams.
Junior Jason Frazer added 14 points, shooting 4 of 7 from 3-point range, while juniors Packy Witkowski and Noah Baldez each added 10 points in the season opening win for Coast Guard. Junior Justin Kane (9 points) had a game-high 13 rebounds while freshman Tyler Perez led the way with three blocks.
Senior Austin Coene led Roger Williams with 16 points and 10 rebounds while sophomore Drew Hart added 10 points.
The Bears led 14-7 with 13:25 left in the opening half and pushed the lead to as many as 11 at 24-13 on layup by Perez with 6:57 left.
Roger Williams would later use a 9-2 run cutting the deficit to 28-26 with 2:41 left in the half. Coast Guard led 34-28 at the break.
Coast Guard would score six of the first eight points in the second half to push the lead back to double figures, 40-30 with 18:31 left. Roger Williams would get as close as five at 44-39 with 15:13 left.
The Bears would put the game away with six straight, four by Benson and capped on a dunk by Baldez giving Coast Guard a 64-51 lead with 2:53 left. The Hawks did not score a field goal for over five minutes before a layup by Coene with 1:50 left made the score 66-54.
Coast Guard shot 40.3 percent from the field (29-72) and connected on 9 of 22 from behind the arc while the Hawks shot 35 percent from the floor (21 of 60) and made just 3 of 26 from 3-point range.
The Bears held a 46-37 edge on the boards in the win.
Coast Guard is back in action on Tuesday night at Salve Regina with tip set for 7:00.