Bears Comeback Falls Short

Emma Puddington finished with 5 points and 7 rebounds
Emma Puddington finished with 5 points and 7 rebounds

NEW LONDON, Conn.– A Coast Guard comeback fell short against Wellesley in a 52-47 setback in New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play on Saturday.

Wellesley is now 6-5 overall, while improving to 3-2 in NEWMAC play and 4-1 on the road. Coast Guard drops to 3-9 (2-2 NEWMAC) on the season.

Senior Micaela Martinelli recorded a double-double to lead Coast Guard, totaling a game-high 19 points and 15 rebounds in 33 minutes of action. Freshman Emma Puddington chipped in with five points, seven boards, and two steals, while Kyra Hartman finished with six points and four rebounds, shooting 3-for-8 from the field.

Kendall You Mak was one of four Wellesley players to finish in double figures, scoring all 12 of their points at the free throw line on 12-of-15 shooting. You Mak also added three assists, two steals, and a block. Junior Caitlin Aguirre finished with a team-high 14 points, while classmate Emily Kopp and freshman Valentina Morakis each tallied 11 points. Morakis also pulled down six boards.

Wellesley shot 66.7% from the floor through the first ten minutes to jump to a 13-point lead after the first quarter. Morakis scored eight points in the opening frame, as the Blue used an 8-2 run at the end of the quarter to start the second with a 25-12 lead. Aguirre extended the Blue lead to 29-12 with back-to-back buckets at the start of the second, helping Wellesley take their largest lead of the half (17) at 7:40.

The Blue held Coast Guard scoreless through the opening 3:33 of the second before Hartman dropped in a lay-up at 6:27. Hartman's bucket ignited a 13-3 CGA run to end the quarter that trimmed the Blue lead back down to seven points, at 32-25, at the half. The Bears outscored Wellesley 13-7 in the second quarter behind 11 points from Martinelli.

The visitors continued to cling to the lead following a low-scoring third quarter, taking a 39-36 advantage in the fourth despite Coast Guard outscoring the Blue, 11-7, in the stanza. Moolenaar cut the Coast Guard deficit to one at 8:58 of the fourth, hitting a layup to make the score 39-38. However, six straight Wellesley points would extend the lead back to seven, as Aguirre capped the run with a jumper at 5:11 to put the Blue up 45-38.

Coast Guard trimmed the lead to four points, at 47-43, when Martinelli dropped in a layup with 2:23 left in regulation. The Bears then pulled back within one in the final minute of play, as Brenna Farrington dropped in a triple to cut the lead back to one, 47-46, with just 33.9 seconds left on the clock. You Mak helped seal the game for the Blue, knocking down two free throws and grabbing a steal in the closing seconds of the game to help Wellesley take the 52-47 victory. 

Wellesley finished the game shooting 36.4% (16-for-44) from the floor, with Coast Guard countering at 32.8% (20-of-61). The Bears pulled down 21 offensive rebounds and finished with a 43-30 advantage in rebounds and a 28-16 lead in points in the paint.

Both teams continue the NEWMAC season on Tuesday, January 8. Wellesley returns home to host Clark at 7:00 PM and Coast Guard will play at Springfield at 12:00 PM.