BABSON PARK, Mass. – Freshman Gill Gerton made a pair of free throws with three seconds left to ice the game as Coast Guard won its sixth straight knocking off first place Babson 65-61 snapping the Beavers nine-game win streak in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) game.
Coast Guard improves to 13-7 overall and 8-4 in the NEWMAC while the Beavers drop to 15-5 overall and 11-2 and into a three-way tie for first place in the conference.
The Bears win combined with WPI's upset loss at home to Smith, gives the Bears a one-game lead over WPI for the important fourth spot in the NEWMAC tournament. The top four teams will host a first round game.
This was the second consecutive Saturday that Coast Guard has beaten the first place team in the NEWMAC on the road as the Bears won at Wheaton a week ago.
"This was a great game and both teams played hard and physical," said Coast Guard head coach Alex Ivansheck. "I was very pleased with how we responded to the runs that Babson made. There were many different players making key shots getting defensive stops and grabbing rebounds. It was a great team win."
Gerton and junior Torie Sutherland led the Bears with 13 points each while senior Alexi Howland finished with 12 points and classmate Leigha Steinbeck had 11 points in the win. Sutherland led the Bears with eight rebounds. Howland and Gerton led the way with four assists each while Gerton had a career-high five blocks.
Howland, who was 3 for 3 from 3-point range in the win, hit a pair of milestones as she made her 100th career 3-pointer and dished out her 200th career assist.
Giovanna Pickering led all scorers with 20 points while Jennifer Narlee had ten points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Howland's 3-pointer with 6:33 left gave the Bears their largest lead of the half 55-48, but the Beavers would use a 12-4 run and take the lead 60-59 on a steal and basket by Narlee with 1:50 left.
Sutherland would hit a 3-pointer with 1:19 left as the Bears took the lead for good 62-60.
Babson's Ashley Snyder made one of two free throws with 12.1 seconds left making the score 62-61 before Gerton made one of two with 11.1 seconds left making the score 63-61.
The Beavers had a chance to tie, but Gerton would block a shot in the paint and grab the rebound with three seconds left.
Babson had an early 7-3 lead with 16:27 left in the first half before the Bears used a 12-2 run to take a 15-9 lead following a basket by freshman Gill Gerton with 12:09 left in the opening half.
Coast Guard took a ten point lead, 23-13, on an old fashion 3-point play by junior Meghan Fornaro with 10:04 left in the half.
The Bears led 34-26 before the Beavers used a 9-2 run to end the half cutting the deficit to 36-35 at the break.
Babson scored the first three points of the second half taking a 38-36 lead following a basket by Giovanna Pickering with 18:28 left.
Coast Guard responded with eight straight capped on a trifecta by Steinbeck with 16:64 left and the Bears led 44-38.
The Beavers scored the next six to tie the game 44-44 on basket by Marissa Cicchetti with 13:18 remaining in the game.
The Bears shot 44.4 percent from the floor (24-54) while making 8 of 25 from behind the arch while Babson shot 34.8 percent (23-66) and made just 3 of 20 from 3-point range.
Coast Guard is back in action on Wednesday when they host Wheaton in a key NEWMAC game at 7 p.m.