WELLESLEY, Mass.— Freshman Victoria Sutherland was unstoppable in the second half as she had 24 of her game-high 25 points in the second half as she put Coast Guard on her back and led the Bears to a 64-56 win over Wellesley. The Bears clinched a spot in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament for the first time since the 2009-10 season with the win.
Coast Guard improves to 10-13 overall and 8-9 in the NEWMAC while Wellesley drops to 13-8 overall and 12-5 in league play.
Sutherland was 5 for 8 from the field and 13 of 15 from the foul line while also grabbing six rebounds in the win.
Both teams got off to a sluggish start as Wellesley missed its first ten shots and Coast Guard turned the ball over four times in the first four minutes. The Blue led 4-3 five minutes into the game.
Wellesley led 10-5 with 11 minutes left it the first half before the Bears went on a 14-0 run with junior Kaitlin Ward scoring the final four points of the spurt to give Coast Guard a 19-10 lead with 5:39 left in the half.
The Blue went close to ten minutes without a field goal before a bucket by junior Leslie Leong with 2:42 left in the half to make the score 20-14.
Ward's bucket with 5:39 left would be the Bears final field goal of the first half as Wellesley closed out the half on a 13-1, taking the lead on a 3-pointer by senior Ashleigh Sargent with less than one second left in the half for a 23-20 lead.
Both teams struggled in the first half as Coast Guard was 6 of 23 from the field (26.1 percent) while Wellesley finished the half shooting 22.6 percent (7 of 31). The Bears turned the ball over 14 times while the Blue had 13 first half turnovers.
The second half started at a much faster pace than the first half and Sutherland was on fire scoring 15 for the Bears 19 points in the first six minutes of the second half including back-to-back 3-pointers to give Coast Guard a 39-33 lead with 14:15 remaining in the game.
Freshman Meghan Fornaro's 3-pointer with 13:08 to go gave the Bears 22 second half points in just under seven minutes as Coast Guard led 42-35.
Sophomore Alexi Howland's 3-pointer, the Bears fourth straight trey gave Coast Guard at 45-37 lead with 12:30 left. Sutherland knocked down a pair of free throws as Coast Guard pushed the lead to ten at 47-37 with 10:27 left.
Wellesley responded with seven straight before back-to-back baskets by sophomores Dani Knox and Leigha Steinbeck made the score 51-44 with 8:02 left.
Howland and Ward each finished with ten points while Knox led the team with a game-high ten rebounds.
Ashleigh Sargent and Leslie Leong had 15 points each to led Wellesley.
Coast Guard 57.9 percent in the second half (11-19) and 40.5 percent for the game (17-42) while making 5 of 9 from 3-point range.
Wellesley shot 31.6 percent from the floor in the game (18-57) and made 5 of 11 from 3-point range.
The Bears turned the ball over 29 times while Wellesley finished with 25 turnovers. Coast Guard held a 36-31 advantage on the boards.
Post Game Comments from Head Coach Alex Ivansheck