NORTHAMPTON, Mass.— Junior Meghan Fornaro had a game-high 21 points to go with five rebounds and six assists leading Coast Guard to its third straight win, a 55-48 victory over host Smith in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) game.
Junior Torie Sutherland recorded her first double-double of the season finishing with ten points and a season-high 12 rebounds in the win.
Coast Guard improves to 7-5 overall and 3-2 in conference play while Smith drops to 4-9 overall and 1-5 in the NEWMAC.
The Bears jumped out to a quick 12-2 lead in the opening four minutes of the game with Fornaro and senior Alexi Howland each scoring five points in that span.
Smith's Samantha Alakai capped a 7-0 run with a basket to tie the game 16-16 with 9:50 left in the opening half.
Coast Guard lead 24-20 at halftime.
The Bears started the second half with an 8-2 spurt with Fornaro scoring three of the four Coast Guard hoops to open up a 32-22 lead with 16:13 remaining.
Coast Guard took its largest lead 46-31 on a layup by freshman Michelle Hernandez with 9:19 left in the game.
Smith would get back in the game using a 10-0 run cutting the deficit to 48-45 with 2:05 to play.
Howland made a pair of free throws with 37 seconds left to push the Bears lead to 53-48 before senior Leigha Steinbeck knocked down a pair of free throws with one second left to close the scoring.
Coast Guard shot 41.2 percent from the floor (21-51) while making four of 21 from behind the arc while Smith was 22 of 61 from the field (36.1 percent) and the Pioneers were 3 of 11 from behind the arc.
The Bears are back in action on Thursday when the host defending NEWMAC tournament champion Springfield at 7 p.m. The Pride knocked off the Bears in the first round of the NEWMAC tournament last season after Coast Guard swept them in the season series.