NEW LONDON, CONN.--(12/2/11)--Senior Andrew August had 21 points and 13 rebounds while junior Ken Rubenstein had 15 of his 20 points in the second half as Montclair State held off a late Coast Guard charge to beat the Bears 71-67 in the first round of the Citizens Bank Camel/Cadet Classic at the Luce Fieldhouse on the campus of Connecticut College.
Coast Guard which trailed by as many as 21 in the second half, cut the lead to three, but saw its four-game winning streak snapped as the Bears dropped to 4-2 on the season. Montclair State improves to 4-2 overall.
Montclair State will take on Conn. College in the championship game at 4 p.m. on Saturday while Coast Guard will play N.Y. Maritime in the consolation game at 2 p.m. at the Coast Guard Academy.
Conn. College beat N.Y. Maritime 85-70 in the other first round game as Rob Harrigan and Matt Vadas each had 18 points to lead the Camels.
Montclair State used a 16-4 run late in the first half turning a 20-19 lead with 7:49 left into a 36-23 advantage with 13 seconds remaining in the half. The Red Hawks led 36-25 at halftime.
Rubenstein hit back-to-back 3-pointers and scored the first eight points of the half as Montclair pushed its lead to 44-25 with 17:22 left in the game.
The Red Hawks had their largest lead of the night 48-27 with 16:16 left before the Bears responded with nine straight making the score 48-36 with 14:06 remaining in the game.
Coast Guard later used a 12-2 run to close to within four at 59-55 on a bucket by senior Trip Fernandes with 5:16 left.
August sank a pair of free throws with 2:01 left to push the Red Hawk lead to 68-60, but the Bears would not go quietly as junior Greg Marshall made a pair of free throws and then hit a 3-pointer with 58 seconds left to make it a one possession game at 68-65.
Coast Guard got the ball back and went for a two in the paint, but following the missed shot, freshman Dwight Bostic made a pair of free throws with ten seconds left for a 70-65 lead and following a layup by sophomore Kevin Sowers, August made the second of two free throws with three seconds left to ice the game.
Marshall led Coast Guard with 14 points, Fernandes finished with a season-high 13 points and Sowers added 11 points and a team-high five rebounds for the Bears.
The Bears shot 24 for 58 from the floor (41.4 percent) while making five of 19 from 3-point range while Montclair State shot 41.1 percent (23-56) from the field while connecting on eight of 15 from behind the arc.
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