NEW LONDON, Conn. – Junior Meghan Fornaro had 11 of her team-high 12 points in the second half as Coast Guard overcame a 20-point deficit on Senior Day to extend its school record win streak to 11 straight with a thrilling 58-55 win over MIT in the final game of the regular season.
Coast Guard which trailed by 20 in the first half would tie the game in the second half, only to see MIT score the next nine straight before the Bears again mounted a rally and held on for win.
MIT, which was the last team to beat the Bears, a 63-53 win on January 17th, finishes the regular season 11-14 overall and 7-9 in the NEWMAC while Coast Guard is now 18-7 overall and 12-4 in the conference.
These teams will meet once again in the quarterfinals of the NEWMAC tournament as third-seeded Coast Guard will host sixth-seeded MIT on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Freshman Gill Gerton had 11 points off the bench for the Bears while senior Alexi Howland finished with ten points in the win. Junior Torie Sutherland added eight points and a team-high 14 rebounds.
Junior Sabrina Drammis and seniors Mari Kordell and Osheiza Otori each had 13 points to lead MIT while Drammis had a huge game on the glass finishing with a game-high 19 rebounds.
Drammis became the 7th player in MIT history and first since 1999 to score 1,000 career points in the game as she now has 1,006 points in her collegiate career.
Junior Maya Ramachandran's back-to-back layups gave MIT a 41-27 lead with 17:06 left.
Freshman Michelle Hernandez and Fornaro keyed a 14-0 run as the Bears pulled even 41-41 following a steal and layup by Hernandez with 13:06 left. Fornaro had seven points in the run while Hernandez added five.
MIT would respond with nine straight capped on a pair of free throws senior Alexxis Isaac with 9:54 left for a 50-41 lead.
The Engineers led 52-45 following a hoop by Otori with 8:16 left, but a layup by Fornaro capped an 8-0 run as the Bears took a 53-52 lead with 2:42 left.
Isaac made a pair of free throws with 2:07 left as MIT retook the lead before senior Leigha Steinbeck's layup gave the Bears a 55-54 lead with 1:25 remaining.
Drammis made one of two from the foul line to tie the game 55-55 with 1:01 left.
Howland made a pair of free throws with 17.2 seconds left before MIT missed a jumper to tie the game. Senior Dani Knox made one of two free throws with 1.3 seconds left to close the scoring.
MIT had the hot hand early as the Engineers made three of their first four shots from the floor while Coast Guard made just one of its first 12 shots and MIT led 13-3 with 13:21 left in the first half.
The Engineers, also made three of their first four from behind the arc, the third by Ramachandran, had a 21-6 lead with 10:22 left in the half.
Coast Guard made just two of its first 22 field goal attempts and trailed 29-9 with 7:30 left in the first half.
The Bears would go on a 16-4 spurt, with eight points from freshman Gill Gerton, cutting the deficit to 33-24 with 11 seconds left in the half. MIT led 35-24 at the break. The Bears were just 7 of 31 shooting in the first half (22.6 percent) while MIT was 12 for 26 (46.2 percent) in the opening half. Drammis had a double-double in the first half with ten points and 12 rebounds to lead the Engineers.
Coast Guard shot 31.7 percent (20 of 63) while making three of 19 from behind the arc while MIT finished 19 of 47 (40.4 percent) and were 4 of 9 from 3-point range.